Copying from the previous post: “I do feel Jesus close and feel Him closer in the sharing of Him with others.”

I’m very close to Jesus at times, especially when I’m in pain. I feel him close when I write about him too. But I think I feel him closest when I’m sharing him with others. That’s one reason I loved leading Living Room so much. I believe it was Christ’s presence with our group that gave me the greatest joy I had known.

When Living Room was passed from me to the next facilitator, the belief she held strongly was that “All we need is God, not people.” I believe strongly that we do need people. Godly people representing God. People who help us remember what God’s love is like, especially at those times when he seems distant.

How can a support group like Living Room work, if there aren’t people supporting each other? In Christ we’re there for each other.

When I led the group, we often asked God to fill our hearts with his love and help us share that love with each other. Each of us ended up with a little bit of God inside us. It became a very close group, God’s presence very much there.

What hurt me terribly was what happened when I disagreed with the new facilitator’s approach. I tried to discuss it with the pastor. He refused, saying he would talk to her about it. Later, when I was in hospital, suffering from having been stigmatized by someone from the church, she came to visit me there. I asked her whether she and the pastor had talked. He thought that what she felt was OK.

I confess I became extremely angry in that hospital cafeteria, making quite a scene. Couldn’t help it. I felt as though I was no longer considered worthy of an opinion. He had accepted what she believed and would not listen to my point of view. I tried again, emailing the pastor, asking for his pastoral position in this matter, but I never received a response.

Next I sent a letter to the Board of Elders, explaining my point of view and the danger I saw in a support group operating with the idea that people are not necessary. The elders did not respond to the validity of the point of view I expressed. I simply received a letter saying that Living Room would be well taken care of.

This was one of many cases where I was treated with disrespect. I created Living Room and developed its philosophy. I had led it for nine years. I had spent many hours, including two hours every morning, searching the Bible and studying. And yet, my thoughts were not considered worth listening to.

What was going on?