Sunday, September 17, 2006

Seeing the Other Side

There are two women in my church who know my story. It's a dark one that will shock most church people although I think that if I wait a couple more years to tell it, it will be mainstream like everything else. No I can say that I pioneered this blackness all on my own with the exception of satan setting me up with very ripe circumstances and a blindsided attack that left me wondering what hit me. To this day I can't explain the things from my past. There are things from my teenage years that I CAN explain now, but for whatever reason, after years of living the conservative, homemaking, raising Godly children, perfect-little-family, mom life, I found myself in a PIT. A deep, black, full-of-despair, turn-my-back-on-God, PIT! Someday, I will tell the story. I know it has to be told, but I don't know when or how. I am a firm believer that you die to bondage a little each time you tell your story and that for every time you tell it, someone else finds freedom. For now, it is too overwhelming a task to even think about.

To be honest, I'm not sure how honest I should be with the whole thing anyway. I know there are those who need to hear the real, raw, nitty-gritty version, but I also know there are those who would merely be shocked and perhaps change their entire opinion of me if they even knew the gist of it.

You would think that with such a dark and foreboding story hanging over me, I would be very understanding of people and oh so slow to judge. But guess what.

I do have a much greater empathy for those with addictions and bondages. I do know what that feels like and how hard it is to overcome. What I do NOT have understanding for is "Christians".

People are so flippant with that word anymore. I tend to refer to people who are genuinely seeking God as "Christ Followers" because of the negative connotation the word "Christian" seems to carry nowadays. I won't go any further with it. You can already see where the judgmentalism comes in to play. I am never surprised when a "sinner" (used as a general term, not as derogatory), sins. My biggest angst is when "Christians" deem "sinners" unworthy of salvation. I'm sure most people would agree that this is a worthy angst, but trust me, it's not. In doing so, I have deemed alot of "Christians" unworthy of salvation. ooooh. That's harsh. Honestly, I didn't realize it in that light till this morning.

In the Nashville area, it is not uncommon to have musicians on a church worship team who are there just to play a gig. They have no interest, in God except to get their talents on display to whatever talent or producer may happen to be in the audience. I have a tendency, when I know this for a fact, to not even be able to participate in the worship for the attitude I get over it. It is horrible. I have seen this as a satanic tool in my life for some time and have learned, not to control it-I'm not that far yet, but to recognize it and immediately pray to God to let me see them through His eyes.

Well today, God answered me with a real eye opening experience. He said, "Look around you. How many people are dealing with secrets? Secrets they can't tell because people like you will judge them. Isn't that what you were afraid of? Can you win any one of these people (including the one up front) to Me with those stones you are casting with your thoughts?"

The Kingdom of God has NEVER been advanced through ideals or even scripture used as stones.

Help me to see people through Your eyes. Fill me with a love for them that is so overwhelming that I can't help but share it. Remind me, yes even when it hurts, that being a judge is not my job, but yours. I know, Lord that there are even Christians who will disagree with my way of serving You. I just want to be like Jesus and You are so tearing down the sides of the box I have always had Him in. I see now that alot of the "pit" that I walked through was in preparation for this time. And I know that had I not been through it, I would never have allowed You to bust open my box. I would have retreated and found another one. You know this has been a difficult time-learning to trust You while my ideas of faith, worship and love have all been first bashed against the wall, then stripped away and reconfigured. I had always heard of You as a radical, but to really EXPERIENCE it has been something else. Forgive me for judging Your people so harshly. It's not up to me the way they live out their faith and You are most capable of convicting them of the things YOU think are wrong. Just like you do with me. Forgive me specifically for the thoughts about N****** this morning and about J*****. Even now I have to fight to keep from seething just over her name. I KNOW that is not what you would have me to do. Most of the time, I don't even realize I am doing it. I ask you to please catch me every time and remind me to pray for her and to forgive, just as you have forgiven me.