Why the Sanctuary Isn’t Always a Safe Place To Come and Just Be Human

only together with us would they be made perfect…. (Heb 11:40).

You and I have a responsibility to one another if we are to call ourselves Christians. When one suffers, so does the other. When one weeps, so does the other. When one rejoices the rest of the body celebrates with them. Why then are our lives so disconnected? Could it be because we fear being truly known?
We have lost our sense of community within the body of Christ. We hardly know one another, because we do not stop and simply be present with people.
When life falls apart the body must rally the troops. She must care for the orphan, the abused, neglected and lonely. Little does she realize that they lay right in her midst. There are so many lonely teenagers longing for connection, many women caught in the trap of abuse and many others suffering from the grip of addiction.
There’s a voice I hear sometimes. It’s shame. It tells me that I need to feel shame because if I am struggling or if I am caught in something that feels embarrassing, lonely or devastating that the body of Christ will be disappointed in me. She will see me as unfit for God’s kingdom work because my life isn’t perfectly fit together.
We have a problem in the church. We’ve made into some idyllic place to come, instead of a place to simply be human. After all, the word “sanctuary” means a place of refuge or safety. Why then do our churches sometimes become a place of showing off, hiding our messes and projecting a life that is unrealistic so that we don’t have to show our true selves and our true brokenness before others? The sanctuary is no longer safe to come and simply be broken, because the sanctuary has become a place for others to show how mighty they are for God, instead of how broken they are before Him.
This splits us apart within the body because we never quite heal since we didn’t heal together. God is communal in how He operates. His body is the force by which the gospel will go out to the world. His body also comes with her messes. She need not hide them, but embrace them and rally the troops for the lost, lonely, abused and afflicted. No one should ever feel shame within the body of Christ for their brokenness. Quite honestly, in many ways, we need the brokenness of the body so that our hearts can grow through offering love, grace, and humility to the hurting.
If we stuff them down and shut them out our own personal growth stalls because we have silenced something within the body of Christ that needed to have a voice to be heard. Don’t silence her voice, be the gift of God to the people in your church by offering your presence in their pain. After all, you need that kind of love too.
Lord, help me to see people and love them as you would. I want to be fully present to hear their stories and to share in their pain. Use our lives as the body to bring healing and hope for one another. SIlence shame and the voice of the enemy that tells us to remain silent about our struggles and make us more like you, we pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

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