In what is sure to be the blogging equivalent of an after midnight text to an ex-boyfriend following a few too many glasses of wine with the girls, I am about to say something I might regret tomorrow. I work for a church. I don’t like to admit that and usually when someone asks me what I do I phrase my job in terms of what I do rather than the place of employment. “I am writer, an event planner, a teacher.” I am just not willing to define myself with the connotations that one inevitably assumes when people find out you work at a church. In fact I run from most things assumable because they just don’t serve me well. I think some of it may come from being so appalled by the behavior of people who find identity in the assumables.
There are a lot of things that I can’t stand about church as an institution but for all of it’s frustrations there is something profoundly intriguing about acknowledging that we are spiritual beings who need each other to be more fully ourselves. I choose to work at a church because I believe in the beauty and life affirming power of community- Something the church does really well when we aren’t trying too hard. The church I work at is messy and real. We drink home brews at our leadership meetings because it helps to take the sting out of the tough journey we have been on over the past few months.
Truthfully, being a part of the church hurts sometimes. Morality and life get intertwined in a way that undoubtedly produces frustrations and disappointments. When people make choices that affect and possibly hurt others it usually carries over into our perceptions of the church as a whole. The fact is that we are people who try to do our best but sometimes make huge mistakes that not only devastate our own lives but also the lives of those around us. That is the part of being a community that really stings sometimes. It’s the ugly part that we like to hide from but in reality is why we need the forgiveness that the church talks freely about but struggles to flesh out when the need arises.
So instead of running from it like I have done in the past I am choosing to linger in the midst. To sit next to the weeping parts of the church that make me uncomfortable and just be. To recognize that I have in some ways contributed to the ugly perceptions that are perpetuated by well meaning people and in some small way extend forgiveness in the same way I have always expected to receive it.
When we trust our broken pieces and baubles to the Designer of Life something beautiful slowly transpires, a piece of art is created from the Mind of Love. Our pieces are put together and a Mosaic emerges. Mosaic San Diego if you will.