Singe of the Phoenix

Author’s Note: If you’re given to the spirit of offense, just close the browser window and move on. This Christian piece is an attempt at an in-your-face call to arms.

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Thought for the Day: Follow the phoenix as she follows 
the Son of Righteousness Who rises with healing in His wings; 
singe the tail feathers of evil by hiding the hurting 
under the wings of healing and encouragement.

I’m having one of those days, folks. I can feel the fire of righteous indignation rising in my gullet, but I know if I give into it, it will be like an incendiary weapon that scorches the earth and burns the dead and the living.

I know I’m not perfect, and I make mistakes. That said, I have had several different volunteer positions at different churches. Regardless of the denominational pew, I’ve watched as “Christian” after “Christian” decides that some Christians are too broken to even be in church and treated with respect.

If you don’t like someone’s favorite sin, just don’t even bother with them; silence is probably more emotionally healthy for your target. However, make sure they have some human connection and companionship.

However, that doesn’t mean you can be Christian in name only, sitting on your @55e5 in the pews only to go home and do nothing. You won’t grow, and your favorite, super-spiritual, healthy leaders will be burnt out faster than it takes a comet to go around the sun.

We need to put on mercy glasses. We need to choose to see people with the agape love of Christ, and small acts of service just might be the key to not only expanding our love but taking the load off our pastors and religious.

Don’t like that father with the normal looking child who acts or talks differently? Instead of criticizing him behind his back (or worse to his face), go and offer to take his child for the afternoon. In getting outside of yourself, you might find you would be incapable of handling his child and decide to pray for him to continue to grow as a Christian parent.

Don’t like the quiet Goth chick who says nothing? Go pick a spot that you think she’d like to stand in and with mouth closed and eyes open watch what she watches. You might find that what she sees is so disconcerting as a tender hearted human being that she can’t find the words to express what she feels, and you might choose to examine your own behaviors and modify them so you don’t contribute to the issue.

Don’t like the way a single mom dresses her kids? Offer to take them for the afternoon and buy them a few oufits. You might find out just how far money doesn’t stretch these days, or you might be able to find just the right store that helps her limited budget.

Don’t like the little, wizened grey-haired old guy who sits in the corner without interacting? Go talk to him; you might find that he has health issues he is treating and the treatments result in suppression of the immune system, but he can’t miss being in the House of the Lord on Sunday.

My point is that we tend to judge and criticize the wrong things in church and Christians these days. We’re looking at externals that may or may not accurately reflect internal reality, and we’re not looking at the measuring stick Abba gave us. As a result, we are too spiritually weak and sick to have the unity required by the modern world, and we don’t shine enough of Jesus to win people to sit with us for coffee let alone come worship with us.

And that, in a dying world with an eternity on the line for each soul, is truly the harshest reality of all.

 

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