Monday, August 25, 2008
Sharing the hurt
One of the things I love about coming to Nazarene Theological Seminary is the emphasis that is placed on the shared sense of Christian community. The seminary community shares its hurts and triumphs deeply, and I get a sense of that when I am on campus for my 2 week stints.
I recently became aware of a great deal of hurt being shared by my friends within the church. It pains me to see it happen, because it damages the body of Christ and hurts the witness of the church when ugliness spills out into the community. But I understand how it happens, and I grieve for those who are hurting.
Saying "I'm praying for you" can seem so perfunctory, but it is also very powerful. When we bring our grief to the Throne of Grace and throw ourselves on the mercy of God. And when we powerfully intercede on behalf of those who are hurting, we build the kind of community the church is supposed to be. It is to be a glimpse of heaven on earth. It isn't Heaven, but it is supposed to provide us with a taste of what is to come.
So I do that. I pray for my hurting friends. I pray for the Bride of Christ who doesn't need her reputation sullied again. I pray that God will redeem the situation and bring good from pain. But I wish that we didn't have to keep doing this. Some day that will come. It's just not today.