The day my second baby was born was the day my church ended. With life comes death. And the loss of my home church certainly felt like death. I wept uncontrollable as I read the email – shaking like I had lost my best friend.
And I had. Because for the first time in my life I had found my home. I had found a truly safe, authentic space. A place filled with real love, real community, real inclusion. A place that challenged me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. A place that saw me and said “You matter. You are loved. You are worthy. And we are HERE.”
I spent 4 years looking for this place. And in the very first service I attended I sobbed the entire way through. I released all the tension, all the hurt, all the questions. Yes…church could be good, true, real and actually look like love. Yes, it actually does exist.
Lighthouse will forever be the place that healed me. It restored my hope in Church. It will forever be the place that reminded me it is worth the search and the fight. That yes, there are actual people in our actual lives who get what living like Christ is and simply do it.
Lighthouse gave me hope.
Lighthouse told me to fight.
Lighthouse helped me heal.
As I sat in the service of a visiting church I wept. I felt defeated. I felt lost. It just shouldn’t be this hard. It shouldn’t take months or years to find a safe place among the Church. It should be the norm, not the exception. I wept for me and I wept for all the others who have felt mistreated, abused and misled by what we call the Church. Church should never make us feel more pain then hope. It should uplift, not diminish. It should heal, not harm.
When did it become about money, slogans, and image? When did it become about winning people over with flashy services, big buildings and “good” talk?
No. That is NOT for me. I want to live like Jesus did. I want to love and gather at the table with all people. I don’t want a slogan; I want a lifestyle. I don’t want a mask; I want authenticity and vulnerability. I want to eat at the table with variety – with ALL races, ALL genders, ALL sexualities. I want to eat with the sinners, the outcasts, the unbelievers. That is who Jesus invited in – that is who he did all of this for.
You guys….that is us. It is you…it is me. We are the misfits, the broken, the sinners. We are the uninvited and unwanted. Jesus looked at you…at me and said, “Come. You are enough, you are worthy, you are good, you are loved.” He saw you and he simply loved you.
And this is what the Church is missing. It shouldn’t be this hard, people. It isn’t complicated or complex.
Love. Love. LOVE. Jesus. Jesus. JESUS. That’s it. Simple.
Nothing else matters.
Should a church be inclusive?
Are we loving if we aren’t?
Should a church have women in leadership?
Are we loving of God’s image if we aren’t?
Should we affirm LGBTQ Community?
Would it be loving to turn them away? Would Jesus?
Should a church be diverse?
Would it be loving of all God’s people if we aren’t?
Should a church address social justice issues?
Would we be loving if we didn’t? Wouldn’t Jesus have?
It is simple. We didn’t write the Bible and we will never fully understand it. It was never our job to use it as a weapon or use it for our authority. It is a guide – a love story of how our God is good and loved His people.
I don’t need to know anything more. I need to know love. I need to know Jesus.
Find me another church that does this and I will be there.