I love text messaging. I text all the time. Text allows me to keep in contact with people I just don't have time for. It's quick. I find it thoughtful - though I know I'm somewhat in the minority on that, at least for people in my demographic. Most of all, it's easy.
Last week, I got a text from a friend of mine. I've known her since before she was in Junior High. Tonight, she texted me some pretty huge news. Huge like, life altering. hasn't told her mom. way outside the path she was on. news. I'm not really surprised by the news. Not shocked at it's existence in any regard.
Years and years ago, I was in a similar spot at a similar age and my church and the Christian community I was involved in then had very strange ways of 'being supportive' that generally involved being shut out, shunned, unwelcomed. It was horrible. I was still me. I was clearly in need of more Jesus. I was in a place of softness in my heart where I would have actually welcomed love like Jesus'. I got it from Him, just not His church. It was sad to me. Really really sad.
Fast forward a few years later and I began to understand a new idea about this sort of thing. The reactions of the Church became very clear to me during this time. At that time, my response to this new understanding was something I've come to understand as righteous discontent. The only real solution to this discontent is to actually do something about it. Something to cause change - something to right the wrong that causes the discontent in the first place.
THEN! some schtuff went down for a friend of mine. It was awful. Truly truly awful. Hearts hurt. Lives broken. You know what? The part that broke my heart the most was that there was again, someone in deep need of Jesus love and the Church didn't give love. They gave rules. They gave counsel. They gave words. They didn't give love. One person, maybe three or four once everything was said and done, loved my friend.
AND THEN!! Some other schtuff went down for a different friend of mine. The church had an opportunity to Love. The church didn't make that choice. Again. I loved my friend. I let her know, in love, that she was Loved. That it didn't make her choices right or wrong or good for her or bad for her. Those were questions she'd have to get answers for. She knows my opinion, but she also knows that I LOVE her. Even if she makes more bad choices. She's loved. Even if she hurts herself because she didn't do the right thing. She's loved.
So, about this text convo I'm in the middle of, this girl. I love her. I hate some of the things she does to herself, but I know. I've been where she is. The only person who loved me through that was my mom. Terrifying. Nearly inconceivable. 100% Lifeline. I don't know if my friend has that sort of safety net in the area where she lives. I know that I can't certainly make choices for her or walk the road of consequence for her, but my goodness! I'm sure as the sun will rise that today's modern church sure isn't going to love her. Especially not if she goes back to where she came from.
I can't be her mom. Can't be the answer. I can't be anything more than love for her. It's so hard to be love from so very far away.