Things came to a head and got messy with our church situation.
One of our dearest friends lost his job this week.
And I am sad.
It has been so messy from the start. So much imperfection in all of us. So much imperfection in me.
I reacted as a friend this week. I was outraged and hurt and angry for him. I don’t take that back.
Another friend helped me to rediscover some objectivity. To see the other facets playing into the situation that has blown up in our faces. But still, I react as a friend and I don’t apologize for that.
We have responded. We have offered our thoughts to those who made these decisions. We have expressed our sorrow our disappointment and yes, even our outrage.
We have spoken and written with passion.
We have tried to come together with others who like us, are reeling.
And as I step back I keep asking myself–Have we said or done anything that we didn’t mean? I hope not. Have we said or done anything that we regret? I hope not. Have we conducted ourselves with honor and integrity?
I hope so.
Though our words have had an edge to them…. though we have spoken with emotion, I hope we have still spoken with restraint. I hope we have not burned bridges too thoroughly.
The way through this is messy. The way through it for us will be more personal as we have left the church. Those left at the church will be cobbling together pieces and dealing with impossible situations for some time. I feel, especially now, as though we have abandoned the ship. Abandoned our family. And yet, I feel we have to stand by our decision. I feel that it’s time for us to speak with our absence instead of with our presence. And I feel that for my own spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being… For my family’s spiritual and emotional well-being, we have to be out of the toxic situations that are still rife there.
Objectivity stinks sometimes. It means that even though you react as a friend in outrage and anger you can still see how this person that you love so much didn’t do themselves any favors at times. Sometimes you can see why things happened the way they did almost inevitably. And then you have to figure out how to love and respond to your friend in the rubble with your own eyes open to that perspective.
It also means, for me at least, that I’m left second guessing myself. I’m left wondering if I have been the friend I should have. I’m left feeling as culpable as anyone for all that has happened.
It’s a mess. It’s a mess entangled in my life and the lives of many who I love.
And my only comfort is that my God is big enough to specialize in messes. And somehow in all this imperfect humanity He is with us in this.