Caffeinated Faith

This was originally posted as a response to ‘This House is not a Home’  but I’ve asked C if I can put it up as today’s blog, because it’s so good.

Here’s what she says:

“We are the church and We are the hurting. We’re the same people, but some of us are lying. God alone knows who actually belongs to Him, and He will use his people to help his people if they are willing.

The only problem with churches and saying what “they” could do, is that Churches are full of people, who of course, are a mixed bag.     In some ways I think We (the struggling) almost have an obligation to expose our brokenness so that others may be set free from the lie that “getting saved” means a return to Eden.     This is so hard when you feel you can’t get out of bed, I understand. I have found in my darkest hours God often speaks through unlikely sources. Also, I seem to be more easily used by God at those times than when I’m on top of things.

The first time I fell into a really deep spell of depression and anxiety as an adult, I carried certain scriptures on slips of paper in my pocket and read them whenever a panic attack threatened. My first day back at work I prayed constantly for God to send “someone” to help me.    He did. He sent a little old man even more riddled with fears than I was and I shared my few little verses with him. A young teenager getting seriously involved in witchcraft came in our store, I shared about God and prayed for her, something I would rarely do on a good day.     Finally a woman from so and so’s Christian Women’s Club came to do some shopping. She politely asked “How are you doing today?” Because of the “Christian” in the club name I chanced it and said “Actually, I’m having a really hard time today, You know, odd fears and stuff “. She nodded and raised her sculpted eyebrows knowingly. “You know what you need?”, she said, tapping the side of her paper coffee cup, “One of these. A little caffeine, a little sugar, set ya right up!”

I was so taken back at her frivolous response, that I followed her advice. Trembling, I weeded my way through the crowded shopping center until I found the coffee shop, ordered my drink and somehow made my way back.     The crazy thing is, it actually helped!! Walking through that crowd, seeing the faces of people, all made in His image, and drinking this delicious stuff, brought me into a level of reality where my personal overwhelming despair was somehow brought into perspective for just a moment. Just enough to keep on breathing.

If we lay down our masks and humble ourselves, then we are more open to help and be helped, sometimes in strange ways. Somewhat hit or miss, I know. Impossible to work into a church program and solicit volunteers to implement, but I sort of think it might be what He had in mind all along.

We know it’s not enough, but we offer up our pitiful loaves and fishes and wait to see what he will do”.

4 thoughts on “Caffeinated Faith

  1. Thank you C. This is so helpful and encouraging. I’m going to try laying down my mask a bit more… scary.
    But God – our Almighty God, our Rock, our Shepherd – is the One who made us into a People, for Him and for each other. May He help us, use us, change us, through us.

  2. I cant keep my mask up for much longer, its so tiring and non effectual these days..Such a frightening prospect letting people in and sharing though..

  3. I posted this on the entry a few days ago so sorry but it actually applies here. I write from my own experience BTW, not with a well thought-thru argument so forgive me if it is unhelpfully said:

    All of us reading this needs to let their mask down, and that’s what makes a church family function like we were made to. It’s hard to be honest, but if we do it, others will know us better & not only help us more, but also be more willing to share. As I’ve been confronted more by the darkness of sin in my heart, I have clung on to the love Jesus has for me & that it is paid for, as Romans 7 says: wretched man that I am! who will save me from this body of death? Thanks be to the Lord + Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ! (off top of my head)

    Admitting (to some) the lustful thoughts in my head that make me guilty of adultery, & more widely my anger (makes guilty of murder) I think has helped ppl be more honest w me. & see that if a pastor’s-wife-in-training is wretched, then we all are.

    Another thing that I would do well to remember, is that the grace & love shown me by Jesus, is the same grace & love shown to the person who I have hated, or hurt, or who has hurt me or failed me in some way. Oh God, help me to love others as you love me.

  4. It is so good to remember that Jesus already sees what is behind our disguises and loves us still. Finding that one or two others who have earned our trust is a great place to start, remembering that we do have to be wise about when a full disclosure would actually stumble someone or give greater glory to our sin than to our savior. For me, the greatest barrier to being “real” is often my own disgusting pride. I can’t bear that you might have arrived and I haven’t, so I lie… even to myself! I try to take credit for any tiny bit of goodness and refuse to admit how much I was tempted to do badness instead. Or, I humbly brag about how hard it was and how I had to depend on God so you will think I’m really spiritual. Pride is so ugly and isolating. This is why I am at my best when at my lowest. What’s wrong with the Church? I am.

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