Warning. This Rumination might stir up some difficult emotions.
Slamming a door, stomping feet, or yelling in anger, striking or insulting in a fit of pique, threatening, and overreacting to an offense - creates fear. Fear over facts, blaming without cause, accusing without evidence, destructive use of unjustified and justified anger, scapegoating, and creating straw arguments - permit and excuse violence in all its forms.
People whose sense of value and worth are torn away by these sorts of transgressions against their being and their humanity might find it hard to recover. It can take decades for some to do so. Some respond by furthering the very transgressions that harmed them.
How can the Church bring wholeness?
To help along the way, the Church must not be a place or a people of inappropriate and harmful behavior. Loving integrity and kindness always are to be at the fore.
The Church must be a place and people of, peace, solace, comfort, and healing. To borrow an idea from Henri Nouwen; the Church is a people full of wounded healers. Founded upon the Wounded Healer, the Church must show and share the same affection, sympathy, and empathy.
The difficult part comes because the Church is to be a place for the wounded, wounded healers, and repentant wounders seeking forgiveness. The Church is to be a safe place for everyone.
Therefore, the Church, while not being naïve, is to be a place wherein one can expect and allow room for grace, and hold high the truly transforming power of the boundary-breaking Way of Jesus and the God of Love. “Pursue love…” (1 Corinthians 14.1).
“Christ be our Light! Shine in our hearts…. Shine in your church gathered today” (Bernadette Farrell).
Rev Jim Sinclair
Pastor Jim is the minister for First United Baptist Church