The other thing that has snuck up on me is how badly I want to find a church that I "fit". A place where all else fades and all I am there for is to worship. There's not the fashion contest, or the who can talk more spiritual contest...or even the worst, talk about where the church has gone wrong contest...I'm so sick of it all. I don't trust peoples actual words, it takes years for me to believe in someone, that what is coming out of their mouths is really how they live...but at first meet, I am SO skeptical it's ridiculous really.
There were other words, of course but I was struck by the hurt in those words. Most of us relate to this I think, and we reject those same things. In this world of advertising and hype we get so sick of feeling like we are being used by the media or the church or politicians or even by our friends and families. One pastor I know said that he and his wife had made some friends outside of church who didn't know that he was a pastor and he said that it was great to be in a relationship where you didn't feel like either they wanted something from you or you wanted something from them. I totally related to that.
Doesn't anybody love me for me? Isn't that what we are asking?
I got in touch with an old friend recently and we've been emailing back and forth, trying to catch up. The thing that has surprised me the most is how much I love this person for who he is and how deeply loyal that I am even having not seen him for nearly 17 years. I have this little band of friends from those days and I feel the same way about them: deeply passionately loyal. I think that this is how God views us. He is deeply passionately loyal.
That doesn't mean we don't get on each other's nerves at times. But that kind of love goes so far beyond that stuff.
So I say to my friend:
I love you for who you are.
I love your you-ness.
And I am deeply passionately loyal to you.