When we walk into the church for the first time as adults we are there for a reason. We are there because we are hurting. We are not there by accident. We have set upon a new answer. Possibly the spending, the sex, the drugs, the depression or the other beliefs have left us wanting something that nothing could extinguish. It is like a train running up and down our spine, and nothing has set us apart long enough to gain a perspective of truth to stop the madness of constant redirection, only to find nothing but more pain, and eventual loss.
We desire to belong not necessarily to just another set of rules, or dare I say, dogmatic beliefs, or even a culture. We desire to feel full. We want to feel whole again, to that time when it felt real to walk unencumbered in a field of tall grass in peace when we knew we were safe. If you never felt that joy, I am sorry, it is amazing.
We feel the rhythm, we feel the song and a feeling of safety erupts and slowly we gain trust in what God offers. We hear the words that the pastor speaks, and a feeling that our inbox has been cut and pasted into his sermon notes. The scripture speaks truth an when you dive into for yourself, you hear of this man Jesus who knew you before you were formed. He overturns the moneychangers tables and gives us a sense of empowerment we’ve never felt. He is our partner in what was no crime, but is the ultimate and undeniable truth, so once again you are wandering in those blades of grass in unburdened truth, following one.
This is what we want. We want that singular truth when nothing else matters, when you indeed find shelter from the storm.
What happens when we fall hard for Jesus? In truth we all fall hard for Jesus once we give our lives to him. That guy you swear is going through the motions; well he has been hurt so many times by his peers for showing the smallest emotion, he holds back. He sees you looking back, and he wonders ‘why did I even bother?’ The truth may be is that communication at first that separates us, and the lack of it. When we fail to say “hey…”, that is when the chance is lost.
We need to belong, we need to feel heard in a safe environment when we can share those truths we swear no one can understand. In truth we all have a percentage of those horrible histories that make us unique and so undeniably similar that no amount wage difference and shade of skin can separate.
It is the loss, the truths and the departed family members we all miss that God is healing, but it is the fellowship we need so much. Intentional or not, we need the understanding of understanding that no rolled eyes or sarcasm can extinguish. Families healed, loneliness shredded, addictions healed, and joy returned. These things are possible with God, they are not possible with prozac, pub crawls, and fine dining worshipped. The fullness of God is fulfilled in his image, humanity. We don’t need more people, we need more with hearts for people.
Belonging is the real reason people step in. If they feel unloved they will pass in and out of the doors until they find a home that does require not a registration fee and the kids parked in the adjacent hall, they will stay when someone walks up to them with a real smile, and forms the words… “hey… what’s going on?” Guarded as you might feel I know, you know and the Lord knows too that that person is there for a reason. When the intentionality is placed upon taking your places in the lobby and not seeking hearts, you will seek shelter from the storm.
People need to feel the light as they walk by, the warmth, and the smile from another that just expresses that I feel you brother, let’s get through this together. We are getting through this together because we are having to get through this one way or another. These are not the good old days. America is not great again. We are at a place in history like no other, and we need people to rise together not fall divided. Haze from fires covers our country. Call it what you want but to navigate through the fires, the flooding, the constant torrent of us vs. them… you cannot close your eyes to what we need. We need simple truth spoken from the top down, and back up again.
We need people to feel more brotherhood, sisterhood and truth in love, and less education about marital bliss. There will be no marital bliss until people feel loved, from the inside out, and that comes from sharing ideas in an uniquely chaotic conversation without a driven agenda other than love God and and love people. If you want safety then let people breath, if properly taught, a conference will only slow the work of Jesus.
There is a fine line between what is organized that which becomes confusion, and chaos that becomes a storm. This becomes a single unified point that doesn’t please, it begins a revolution, that rips strongholds apart and real wisdom falls onto us like a collective rain of truth.