I'm Glad I Ditched the Trailer Park Boys!
Last night was a special night of intercessory prayer at our church. I don't consider myself an "intercessor" or "prayer warrior" or anything of the sort. I really didn't want to go. I would rather have, honestly, stayed home and watched Trailer Park Boys with a glass of wine or two. But Lisa said she was going and so, reluctantly, I went with her. Well, there were only five of us. Three women two men. We just sat around talking for a while. One woman started sharing how on Sunday she was looking around and realized how many of our people, if not all of them, had or were experiencing incredible struggles and unfathomable loss. There is a real sense of heaviness on the congregation. There has been a suicide, another surprising death, divorces, unplanned pregnancies of unwed young women, unemployment, single parenting, teenager rebellions, illnesses, and I could go on and on. She said she came before the Lord one day and just expressed her anguish and concern for the congregation and she sensed the Spirit say, "Just hold on!" Others joined in sharing how real the church is these days, and that it is important to guard people in their loss, grief and suffering. We are not to rush people through their dark valleys, or provide platitudes, or give easy answers. We are to keep silence, to keep a loving vigil over all those who suffer. She said she sensed that we are to learn more and more about grace that doesn't condemn, judge, or place expectations on others. As we kept talking, I realized why I didn't want to come. I was afraid, unconsciously, that there was going to be some hype: "Come on! Let's get this church out of this dark valley! Let's pump it up! What's wrong with us? We have the Lord on our side! We should be triumphant!" I was dreading this kind of evening. So when we were all talking in this way, I immediately realized this and felt an unbelievable sense of relief. I obviously still care what people think. So I was encouraged when there was so much respect expressed for the church, the people of it, and the grace given for exactly where we're at. I left encouraged and determined to press on. Someone sent me an email this morning after reading my post on grief yesterday and said:
when I read your post, I read the last couple of lines as if you were the protective pastoral 'tiger' as it were, guarding the weak and ready to pounce on anyone who dared step into that sacred space of grief and violate it with answersHumbly, that's exactly how I felt, and I couldn't have said it any better. And I'll catch the Trailer Park Boys tonight... maybe. The photograph is the creation of my friend Amaris and is called "Future Love". Thanks Amaris!