(first published on May 4, 2011)

A few days ago someone told me about a friend with a mental illness who had lost her faith in God because she had been rejected at church.

How that upset and angered me! How sad that is!

Why would Christians be so unloving? Don’t they remember that it’s Christ they’re supposed to be following? Jesus, God on Earth, the One who showed us what love truly is.

God loves us through people. If we are Christians we are called to be God’s representatives. Do we represent Him well?

In his book Soul Cravings, Erwin McManus talks about the level of trust we need to be able to have with others who are part of an authentic community, which the church should be. He said, “Honesty is the only context in which intimacy can develop.” We need to be able to be honest with God’s people, all of us recognizing that each of us is a flawed human being. “It makes it easier for me to remember that God will never reject me because I’m not good enough and that any community that has his heart will embrace me as I am. Jesus invites us into a community where imperfect people can find acceptance, love, forgiveness, and a new beginning.”

If every church community could only be like this! Welcoming honest sharing. Welcoming people, though they might be different. Reaching out to people who need to be reminded that God loves them.

marja