There is a song I love by Andy Mineo called Wild Things, I guess if you were to ask me what kind of people I am drawn to it would be this group. They are the misfits. People who haven’t been to church in awhile due to struggles and addictions that keep them afraid of the church doors. Depending on where you are in life, you could be contending with your biggest giant just inside this building where fellow believers meet.
We fear ridicule, we fear blame, we fear judgement just inside these doors and because we already struggle with all these things in our minds without the help of anyone else, we shy away from church as we feel it will be more of the same. But let’s face it. I mean honestly, guys. Our biggest contender is our flesh. We can make all the excuses in the world but we are accountable for self.
Some of us have been through some crazy stuff. Some of us are going through rough stuff right now. We feel so foreign. We don’t come from homes where stability is (was) a factor. We hardly know what it is like to feel safe. We are on guard; constantly watching our surroundings. We (would) have to question who was going to be home when we got home from school. Would mom have a new partner? Would dad have another girlfriend? Would they be sober? We prayed like crazy with anxiety that at times felt crippling. Often there was concern that there would be anger and we could get hurt yet again.
We didn’t reach out when we needed someone to turn to and we caved in on ourselves. We cried a million tears. We cut. We drink (drank). We take (took) pills. We engage (engaged) in porn. We experience (experienced) sex. Constantly we are (were) searching. And even when the help comes (came) we (would) refuse it as this was our new state of being. We have grown (grew) accustomed. We are (were) comfortable in our chaos. The enemy has cleverly baited this trap we can (could) barely part from.
Until one day, in a rare moment, we look up and a glimpse of freedom is caught. We observe.
It stands off in the distance. It is stable. It is genuine. It knows all our faults yet never once has it dismissed us. It actually beckons us to stay. It reads us like a book and yet loves us. Convincingly. It saw our disease and revealed the cure. Sin. Repentance. Follow Me. Four simple words. That easy.
For some of us, we ran. Terrified. And in the moment we looked back, we saw the dark venom pulled from the cankerous souls of the ones who remained. They then became radiant. They were changed. Just like that. In what seemed to be the twinkling of an eye. The sight froze us in place. We could not continue running. No. Instead our bodies turned to face this enigma.
These newly transformed bodies started walking our way. We were mesmerized. And slowly, one foot in front of the other, we started advancing towards them. They were alluring. We wanted whatever they had in them. We wanted healing. So we were drawn to their light, and one by one, we all were relieved of the dark venom we allowed to pulse in our veins for so long. For too long.
Soon this group became our fellowship. It was a place we could be real. We could be raw. We could be vulnerable and be safe. We could cry out, cry softly and (or) just vent. Once we were unified, we were overflowing. We were passionate. We were intentional. We were commissioned. We proceeded in movement to set the world on fire with the same radiance that coursed through us. And one by one, we continue to succeed.