My ADD was in full overdrive today during church, but one part of the message really stood out.
Our pastor was saying how he would fail us at times. He's human. Imperfect. But he loves the church like he loves his own family. No doubt the Holy Spirit was using this message to talk to me.
Because, for the last nine months, I've been carting around a king-sized grudge against him.
I'd been home from the hospital for probably about 2 hours when the doorbell rang. I was busy, moving all the baby paraphernalia to the upstairs spare room so it wouldn't be in my face all the time. I was tired, having just delivered my baby 12 hours before, and just come off a sleepless night. I was broken, just coming out of shock and realizing the depth of my loss.
The pastor came in. I couldn't stop thinking about how dirty my house was. Andrew kept asking to give him the tour of the house! I was surprised when he said he had intimate understanding of my feelings, he and his wife having gone through something very similar. I don't remember much else that he said, except the focal point of my grudge.
He brought up how he had to worry about how my news would affect other couples in our church. Two couples in particular, one facing repeated miscarriages, and one being very pregnant with their first after a long bout of infertility.
That statement out of his mouth just shook me. My daughter just died 12 hours before, and you think I care about how everyone else is going to feel????? I was just struck dumb. Couldn't get him out of the house fast enough.
And, for nine whole months, Satan has used that delightful statement in so many ways!
Like keeping me from wanting to go to church. Feeling justified that since a "man of God" could be so inconsiderate of my emotional state, I didn't have any place being in that church.
Wanting to leave that church. There's been a mass exodus of couples from our age group in the last 3 years. Yes, our church has grown, which only means we're surrounded by strangers. And meeting new people is not my strong suit on a good day.
I've sat in the front row on the days Yasar talked me into (read: made) me go, and hardened my heart against the pastor's words.
To be honest, Satan hasn't had to break a sweat. I pretty much do all the work for him.
But today, the pastor's words hit me. Why should he be on a pedestal? He talked about a leader of a church making one mistake, and the whole church falling apart. I just got done reading I Was Wrong by Jim Bakker and, after the initial eye-rolling at his "victimization" a the hands of Falwell and Swaggart, I began to see Jim as a human. No better than I, certainly no worse. Sins I excuse in myself are the same sins that make me want to grab a stone and get ready to throw when it shows up in them.
My pastor is no different.
I've said hurtful things to people. Heck, just this past weekend I said something insensitive to my mom. Shouldn't I be held to the same standard as I hold my pastor?
So I'm praying for God to help me excise this grudge that has rooted into my heart. The roots are deep, and it's going to hurt, but it just needs to go.