People all across the country today are gathering in their chosen places of worship to express their beliefs together. Praying, singing, reading and exchanging hugs and handshakes. They feel warm and fuzzy, encouraged, unified, and a part of something larger than themselves.
In the middle of all that are people who feel very alone, misunderstood, powerless and shamed. They have a dark history that doesn’t connect with others in the congregation. The preacher doesn’t address their pain or make a way for them to feel included. The topics aren’t real life and not about what they struggle with and so they just go through the motions and fake a smile.
Only when the church is forced to do they open their collective eyes to this unpleasant underbelly of humanity. Only when undeniable accusations are made and they are forced to face it, will they.
The abused are right there among them and suddenly they see something horrible and painful. But once the emergency is past they quickly move back to their rituals and practices. They will not acknowledge this ongoing problem.
I was one of them. Now I have turned away from the church and also from God. Surprisingly, or maybe not, I find less anxiety in my life. I don’t feel ignored by those I once stood next to hand-in hand. Because they are no longer in my life.
That works for me. They were never there for me in my place anyway.
Enjoy your Sunday and maybe just take a second to remember those who once joined you in worship who are no longer there. Maybe it isn’t their rebellion but their lack of inclusion.