“Christians are all about building walls,” I said. Then I burst out into laughter. I’ve never said something so profoundly honest about the state of the world and the state of the Church. That sentence perfectly sums up the recent American presidential election. I found it quite comical.
Yesterday was a dark day. I awoke this morning and still had a carby thanksgiving breakfast… again. So, no change. I didn’t get in the word yesterday. So, again, no change. But then…
I met with one of my good friends for lunch. A healthy tofu and veggie lunch with NO carbs. It was delicious!! We sat for hours and caught up on our lives. We laughed about nonsense, and joked about rejection [from the waitress]. All in all, it was one of the highlights of my Thanksgiving holiday.
She shared about her pending move out of state and we began to discuss my leaving California. She encouraged me to travel, which is already on my heart. And I told her that the reason I haven’t yet moved is my church. She lovingly looked at me and said the famous line all my out of state friends say, “there are churches everywhere.” And with all sincerity and gentleness, I tried to explain… “yeah, but none like mine.”
This idea of walls was such a profound thought in my puny little head that I went on to elaborate. The American Church generally tends to build walls. At least the Churches I’ve seen. I feel like more often than not, I see many churches getting bigger in numbers and constructing bigger and bigger buildings to house those massive numbers of people, who are itching to hear what their ears itch to hear. These fellowships are building walls around those who “believe,” those who have been “enlightened,” and maybe by extension even building walls around the gospel itself? Something to ponder there…?
Instead of providing a building in which to do ministry, these fellowships, and maybe even most of the American church as a whole, end up creating walls which keep the truly hurting and needy out of the place in which hope should be most alive! Walls fortify a city (“community”) to remain secret and secluded and hoarding all of the supposed love of God inside instead of outside where it is needed most.
Walls wall the walled and leave the outsiders outside. That may be the stupidest sentence I’ve ever uttered, but it’s the best summary I have for this point. It breaks my heart. I went on to tell my friend how I feel people misrepresent Jesus and how most “Christians” belittle the marginalized and they neglect to love those who really need it. The Jesus most “Christians” in America follow is oppressive and scornful of those who He BIBLICALLY cares most about! The American Church has contorted the Biblical Jesus into something He is not. The hurting need Jesus, not more reasons to hate Him.
I am blessed to belong to a fellowship that loves the marginalized well. Not perfectly, just well and with heart. It’s very flawed because it’s made up of forgiven sinners with very real issues. But the reason I cannot move out of state just yet is because I have found a community that loves, accepts and challenges (in love and gentleness, yet with boldness) people from all walks of life, right where they are. They care about the oppression of immigrants, and the communities that feel sidelined by modern Christianity.
I don’t know how this theme ended up here. And I don’t intend to make my weight loss blog about politics. But, alas here I am. I know I have so much to learn. And I know I am in the right place. I am where I am supposed to be. Perhaps one day I am to take the knowledge and wisdom I acquire to other places. I dream of traveling. I really do. It’s my hearts greatest desire… okay one of them. I can’t wait till the day I am able to.
Which brings me to a different type of “wall.” Obesity. Extra weight, or in my case, morbidly excessive weight walls in the person who wears the weight. In this case, myself. I have often compared being overweight to being in prison. It very much feels like that, nearly all the time. I cannot travel out of state via airplane (the cheaper way) because I cannot comfortably or cheaply fit in plane seats. I don’t make enough money to buy myself two plane seats to travel out of state. As much as I wish I could do it. This wall [of fat] hinders the freedom and mobility that many people take for granted. Simple things even, like bending down, exercise, and standing require strange alterations we obese people make in order to function in this world. Therefore, as part of my prison sentence, I must learn to live amid the societal confines of the wall that I have unknowingly accepted. I won’t wear a bikini to your beach. I won’t squeeze into furniture I cannot fit in, I won’t attempt to live joyfully in my skin. No, I could never do that. I am to live in the prison and only do these things when I fit in and fight the wall. Sigh, vicious circle.
All this brings me to yet a different type of wall I have always dealt with. Assimilating with that prison (wall) on purpose out of fear of the outside. Now this story is sounding far more complicated than I wish to be, but here’s my truth. As I stupidly said before, walls wall the walled and leave the outsiders outside. I want to lose weight. I really do. But, I want to do it, as invisibly as possible. I know this is unmanageable, but I just don’t like the attention. Someone once suggested that I ate myself into so much weight to protect myself from harm. I believe there may be some truth there. Which would explain my passionate and very complex relationship to walls and how they function.
I do know that I know nothing. And I know that Jesus is the wall crusher and He alone destroys and demolishes walls of all kinds. His love is sufficient for my hurt heart to be healed and whole, and for the oppressed who hate him and his people, to feel love and forgiveness. This post was all over the place. But, it’s where I’m at.
What walls are in your own heart? Do you mean it for good? For protection? Self-preservation? Or is it fear? Consider it. I pray you find your hope in the Wall crusher-Jesus. As I do, and am learning how to better do it daily. Oh Lord, change my heart.