She was just frozen there when I spotter her. A little girl, all alone, just sitting on the curb and looking out across the street. I thought it was odd to see her there staring that way. As I approached and could see around the car that was parked near her I realized that she was looking at something in the street. In an instant I put it together. There was a grey and white long hair cat, barely older than a kitten lying dead on the asphalt. I didn’t know if the cat was hers but I assumed it was. All I could think to do was to kneel down beside her slowly and to help quiet her tears I said the only thing I could think of, “I’m so sorry sweetheart.”
She looked up at me and even though she didn’t know me and I didn’t know her she burst into tears with renewed energy as though she had just discovered her cat for the first time and threw her arms around me. She almost knocked me over. I held her and let her sob. And then just a few moments later it seemed, she turned and ran to a house just down the street, leaving me and the kitten behind.
I share this story so I might share another. In my view of the world there are certain people and organizations that you expect certain things from. We expect basic services from our cities and counties. Police, Fire, Utilities, etc., we hope our schools teach our children well and we want our sports teams to win. We also want to know that those who claim to act on the side of Good to be reliable and steadfast in their actions, words, reputation and example to others.
Lately I have seen many in my world at large, like the little girl in the story. They have had something good and kind and beautiful suddenly turn into something very traumatic. Please know that I am a fan of the organization I am about to name and would not want a world without it BUT the Church which I am a part of has gained a reputation lately for taking the good of God, the kindness of Jesus and the beauty of the Spirit and instead showing the world some very ugly things instead.
So if you are reading these words and at some point in your spiritual journey you were harmed by the Church instead of shown love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control and mercy and grace AND forgiveness, like the young girl in the story, I want to say something to you. And I know I can’t speak for everyone, but I have seen you there staring at the Church like a once loved but now dead creation. So on behalf of myself and any Christian Church member who will allow it I want to say, “I’m sorry for the things I did or said that hurt you.” “I am sorry that I didn’t love you the way I should.” “I am sorry for judging you” “I am sorry for not offering you hope when you needed it most”
Please forgive me. I am trying to do better
… now I need a hug!