There’s a scene in the most recent U.S. episode of Downton Abbey when Tom Branson tells his sister-in-law, Lady Mary that he can’t tell her what’s troubling him because she would “hate him” if he did. Actually, she could relate.
We have got to get past being the kind of church that is not safe. Remember that we gather in sanctuaries. And yet these sanctuaries are often cold and scary.
This post resonated with me – not because I have ever felt unsafe among followers of Jesus but – because many of my friends have. I have a friend who was asked to leave her young adult Bible study because she and her husband were seeing a marriage counselor. I have a friend who was too terrified to object when his church friends (or “friends”) insisted that he get electric shock treatment for being gay. I have a friend who was removed from her church for leaving her abusive husband.
God have mercy upon us.
It’s hard enough to confess our shame. But imagine trying to share our shame among people who ostensibly live in the image of the One who unconditionally loves, only to find themselves shunned.
What if we felt safe in church?
Many of us do not feel safe among family and friends, even when we know they love us. We are too ashamed to share that we are addicted, we are the mothers of children given away at birth – or before birth, we are abused, we are abusive.
But what if – in spite of it all – we felt safe in church?
Image source here.