Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Fuk Off & Pray"

That’s how he signed his FB note to me. (Are you not allowed to spell fuck correctly on FB?) I laughed when I read it, such an odd combination of commands... but I wasn’t surprised or fazed in the least. After all, he hates me and God, and I have known this for the last 15 years because he is very obvious about it. Our connection in life is that we are both TK’s step-parents.

That line solidified some thoughts I have been struggling with for some time now. I have a hard time forgiving Christians, and I realized, in those words, partially why this is. I expect Christians to act like... well... my preconceived notions of Christians, and when they don’t, I am not just hurt or angry but also hardened against them. (Um, yes, I know this is very unChristian of me.) When a declared God-hater is aggressive and hurtful toward me, I find it easy to let it roll off because I expect that from him. But I assume Christians pray when they have things to consider and when they hand me a “fuk off” attitude, I am thinking that there is no way God told them to do that, so either a. They forgot to pray or b. They forgot to wait for a reply.

I wrote a while ago about a crisis of belief I experienced when we returned from Ukraine with our newly adopted daughters. There were so many complicated factors behind that period of suspended belief... personal ones, and public ones. My husband and I had been involved with our church for 9 years, and the relationship was souring leaving him cold and me heartbroken. Before this church, we had attended a different, very small, church for about 7 years. The more involved we became with church number one, the more blemishes we saw... policy rivalries, clicks, gossiping, pressures to take a side... we started shopping around for a new church. I naively thought that the issue of having issues was unique to that first church.

It was not. Humans are human, and by last October that realization was dawning brightly in my mind. (Might I say here that I am the first to admit that I am not the role-model Christian and part of why this blog started off anonymously was so that I could explore my weaknesses publicly in private, or rather privately in a public space.)

When Kimani was born, everything changed for me. God took me places I did not want to go. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...” (Psa 23:4) By that time I was already working for the church, and a shadow was just beginning to rise. Christians I looked up to and respected visited or chose not to visit for reasons unrelated to why I was actually sitting in the NICU. Work-related commitments and agreements made to and with me were broken and I had no strength or drive to care.

And like the stock market crash of that summer, things never went back to the way they were, and the seeds of anger and disillusionment took root deep in my heart. I confess, I let them grow. Because I have a hard time forgiving Christians. “Fuk off & pray”... that message encompasses what I have felt for three years now. I heard it behind closed doors in meetings of all sizes, and I saw it rolled out in how we approach our congregation and in our expectations of how they should desire to interact with us.

Now to be fair, I firmly believe that our pastor is one of the greatest preachers of our time. I am convinced that our elders make prayerful choices. I know that one of our long-term leaders is one of the most “Christian” Christians I have ever known.

However, men like that don’t a mega-church make and when your growth numbers don’t match your goals, you need a different kind of man to get the job done. And thanks to that and one of my least favorite bippity-boppity-boo-God-hates-you associates, I will remember to pray before I "tell" someone to “fuk off” and I will remember to ask others to pray for and about me before they "tell" me to “fuk off”.

As for that forgiveness issue I have? Yeah, I’ll work on that and when you think of me, pray that God moves my heart in this area.

(When writing this post, I may have chosen option c. Don’t pray about it because who wants God to interfere with their imperfect and ugly human emotions? No really, I did run it by Him quickly and my computer did not spontaneously combust, so here it is.)


Tara said...

You always make me smile. Did you know that? I think God has a special place in his heart for those who question. :)

I've long agreed that "a church hurt is the worst hurt". We give those who know Christ an amazing power to hurt us because of our own expectations.

L.L. Barkat said...

Options a and b made me laugh!!! :)

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