I’m not sure what to call it, really. Discontent doesn’t seem strong enough. Anger seems too strong. Either, or neither, could be correct.
On the heels of my previous post, my time in church today was agony. It may have been just me, it may have been all of us. Mostly, it made me cry and wonder why I feel so disconnected from a community of people in which I, my family, have been so heavily invested for so long. But rarely, oh so rarely, does God give me answers to the why questions.
It could be a lot of things that would be unfair to say. Or, it could be a lot of something else I don’t have a clue about. I just know that I long to feel, and really be, tangibly connected and to have that be a mutual thing that happens out of love and caring… not what I, or anyone else, can do… but who we are. Not just on Sunday, but for real in an every day kind of way… us to them, them to us, all of us God-word together. Emphasis on the together part.
I know what it’s not. This isn’t a doubt or crisis of faith thing. In the midst of all of the it-that-has-no-label I have known my God richly. Something is broken in this situation, but it is not God.
I don’t know what to do with it, how to speak about it beyond this point, or where it goes from here. It makes me restless, and I’m not sure what to call it. What about you? Have you ever visited this not-sure-what-to-call-it place? Have insight? Wisdom? Encouragement?
I do know that this passage from chapter 5 of the first letter to the Thessalonians resonated from the readings today, and I long to be a part of a community life like this:
12Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil.
23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.