Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
I spoke at a potluck that we had for our client’s and the volunteers who shopped with them at Christmas, the other night. I talked about giving the Church another chance. That the people who volunteer with us are truly genuine people from the Church who care about them.
I acknowledged how so many broken people feel judged by those in the Church but that it is wrong to judge everyone in the Church based on the majority.
My daughter came up to me after I spoke and told me that she got Isaiah 61:1 as her Scripture for the day, at that moment, and it was for me and what I was doing by speaking.
My daughter was blessed to go on a retreat this weekend due to the church who is hosting it and my friend paying for it.
My daughter is a very social and outgoing extrovert, when she is in a social scene that contains unsaved or oppressed kids.
God is using her to speak to the kids in our community. So many of the kids she meets are broken and feel like they don’t belong with God yet they are still seeking.
Because she is so real about her sin they automatically trust her and respect her view on God.
When she is with “Christian” kids she is the opposite. She seems more shy and self conscious. She says that girls in youth groups are more judgmental and not as accepting of her.
So she was full of anxiety on the way to this retreat because she only knew 1 person out of hundreds, that we ended up arguing and then God calmed us down, so we could process what was going on.
She admitted that she was scared that she wouldn’t fit in.
I prayed for God to help her feel like she fits in and if she doesn’t for God to help her know what she is supposed to try and teach the Church.
I talked with her today around 1pm. She has been there since 9pm last night, and she was alone sitting in a hall. She talked to me for about a half hour which shows me that she was alone for sure, she is a typical teenager who wants to be with friends, and it’s like pulling teeth to get her time.
She told me that she talked with a couple of kids and seemed to connect a bit with one but she said that she feels “irrelevant”. These kids have known each other for a long time and they have their groups set, and they don’t reach out for new people.
I have felt like this as an adult when I have gone to Churches.
I remember the first day at a Church that I stayed at for 8 years. I went to service and during coffee or “fellowship hour” I stood alone drinking my coffee. I was about to leave and never come back and I heard the laugh of a man, which for some reason made me want to come back. I gave it another chance and then I met this man. He was truly one of God’s. I stayed for 8 years because of him.
Anyway, I reminded Heaven that what she was experiencing was what so many people in our community are experiencing or feeling about the Church, like they don’t belong. I said that is why we are who God created us to be, because we are to speak for the oppressed because we have been oppressed. I asked her if she was going to be able to make it the whole weekend and she said “yes, she was staying”.
I am so proud of her. I don’t know what God has planned, but she still has 21 hours to go. I am sure He will use this for her to speak to the broken, whether here at home or there at the retreat.
I see this as one of the problems with the Church, we are supposed to be the most accepting and loving people because we are supposed to know what the cross meant more than anyone else in this world. We are supposed to know what being “loving” is more than most. Yet my daughter who loves the Lord is sitting alone.
The cross happened for the hurting and oppressed, yet the enemy has used their shame to keep them from it. Jesus came for us sinners who know we are sinners. The broken community accepts that they do wrong, which is better than those who have it all and yet don’t think they sin enough to be rejected by God.
So many in the Church reinforce this by rejecting those who need it most.
I just asked Heaven at 6pm if she is hanging out with friends and she said “no”. That means 5 hours later she still hasn’t been brought into a group other than the mandatory small groups.
God, I pray that the ones who don’t know you yet realize that the Church building shouldn’t be taken as the example of you. There truly are few who are on the narrow road and I pray that you use those who are on it, to reach the broken in order to see they are accepted.
I pray that you teach my daughter what she is supposed to know from this experience. I pray that you don’t let her turn from the Church because of this experience.