Today I saw a tweet by a liberal (?), progressive (?), doesn’t-think-gay-people-should-have-sex-but-probably-changed-their-FB-profile-picture-to-the-HRC-logo-a-few-months-ago (yeah, that’s it) Christian blogger I once read and appreciated. It said,
If you only write from your wounds from an abstract “Church” and you no longer root yourself to a body of believers, I don’t hear Jesus.
I can’t help but think that many of the liberalish evangelical or post-evangelical bloggers I once followed and loved and even considered friends feel the same way. It’s strange, because I got my start as a writer in the evangelical blogophere, writing about my wounds. There was a time when writing about my wounds was freeing. When it made me feel like I wasn’t damaged goods for the first time in my life.
But I learned that there are conditions.
You may write from your wounds, but make sure to end your blog post with a hopeful platitude.
You may write from your wounds, but you have to forgive and be gracious about it.
You may write from your wounds, unless it’s a popular, liberal evangelical/emergent blogger who’s wounded you.
You may write from your wounds, unless your wounds lead you to anger.
You may write form your wounds, but know that this makes your opinion on the things that wounded you less valid.
You may write from your wounds, but don’t let them lead you away from the Bible, the church, or from God.
Seeing that tweet was just a reminder that I don’t meet most of these conditions anymore. Many of the bloggers that once made me feel whole are now the ones telling me that I am damaged goods. That my brokenness is not welcome until I can fix myself up just enough to be presentable.
It used to hurt to feel like I was no longer welcome to speak from my wounds in the evangelical blogosphere. It still does, a little, if I’m going to be honest even though I’m pretty sure I haven’t qualified as an evangelical in quite awhile.
But I’m getting to the point where it’s okay.
I’m getting to the point where I’m no longer dependent on the evangelical Jesus that is too busy “showing up” in church buildings while the worship leaders play Hillsong to be present with me on days when I hurt too much to even imagine crawling out of bed to go sit in a pew.
I’m finding God elsewhere, and she is angry and wounded and strong. She is the spirit that empowered Jesus to stand in solidarity with the wounded. She is not bound to your church buildings.
You tell her that you cannot hear Jesus in those who aren’t rooted in a church, and she replies, “Your heart has grown calloused. You are plugging up your ears and covering up your eyes, otherwise you might hear and see and understand.”
She is a physician who is not here for the healthy. Write from your place of wholeness and privilege, rooted solidly and safely in your “body of believers.” Fine. But the God I have found is busy reaching out to the wounded with her own wounded hands. You won’t find her if you send away those whose pain is too big to fit through a church door.
You look at the wounded. You see a bunch of people who are tired, and frustrated, and angry, and bleeding, and rejected by the church, and crying out for justice. Then you say you can’t see Jesus and I wonder, don’t you recognize him? He’s standing right in front of you.