I haven't posted on here in eons. Just not inspired, I guess.
First, a complaint. Why is it that if you follow a pastor long enough, they seem to fall off the rails eventually? It's like they start out fresh and full of godly ideas and ideals and build a community based on those things and soon enough, the community ends up reciprocating in such a way that the pastor ends up brainwashed and obsolete- like all the others before him who were the reason he felt charged to overthrow the pulpit in the first place.
I've posted several quotes and things from Matt Chandler's sermons here in the past, but I have to admit, I haven't listened to his sermons in a long time. It seems like the goal (or the method, I guess) has shifted from teaching to preaching and I don't tend to accept preaching nearly as readily. It's like he forgot that people need to know why they should want to believe these things and instead has moved towards an approach closer to the old, overused "because the Bible says so" doctrine. It's underwhelming, unmoving and frankly, inhuman.
When I hear stories of abuse in the non- Catholic church community and Matt Chandler retweets a reprehensible, appalling, morally corrupt defense of the abusers or when he pushes absolute propaganda against abortion rights, I can't help but feel like he's been blinded. Blinded and brainwashed.
I'm not saying a pastor has to be pro-choice, but if you're going to be anti-choice, at least focus on the root of the problem. At least. Don't demonize abortion. And if the reaction to that sentence is, "But it's murder," I've seen far more compassion towards convicted murderers than I have seen to the women and girls who are facing this truly cruel decision. And it is a cruel decision- it takes years to build towards the decision that abortion is the best option. Even if the decision seems hasty sometimes, it actually isn't. It's still made with the information with which the woman is equipped at the time the decision is made. If they believe they are unsupported and that a baby would be a truly crippling endeavor, even with adoption as a possibility, how did they get there? Odds are, they got there through events that were less of their own doing than that killer in prison for whom pastors show an abundance of compassion.
Of course I'm generalizing, but at the same time, the fact that there are endless possibilities and endless reasons means that pastors should show more restraint, more compassion, less judgment and they should definitely not alienate those in need by perpetuating propaganda, whether it's a fake abortion "documentary" or a sleazy victim-blaming statement in support of disgusting pastoral behavior.
Pastors are supposed to fight for the widows and children, aren't they? And it seems as they get bigger and their celebrity isolates them from the real people, the less they can empathize and connect with those who need it most. They start focusing on mass salvation rather than profound salvation.
And it makes me sad.
On an unrelated topic, the death of my dog on April 25th messed with my faith enormously. I couldn't understand why God would make her suffer the extra hours that she suffered. It still hurts my heart to think about it. But oddly enough, my non-Christian husband restored (most of) my faith. He does believe in God, which is important, as if I had married an atheist, odds are I would have lost my faith through all of this. Instead, he reminded me where God was in all this heartbreak and I am grateful that he did, even if I'm still pretty resentful and distant to God right now. He told me God gave him those few hours with her, the ones I wished He had taken away because he needed them. He needed those hours to say goodbye to her, so it wasn't that God wasn't listening but that God was doing the best He could for all of us, I guess.
But man, she got sick so suddenly. She was our healthiest dog and within a few weeks, she was gone. And at the same time, a dog who belongs a friend of mine had a massive tumor removed from her belly. At fourteen, it was unlikely that she would have escaped cancer and survived the surgery too. But she did. The massive tumor wasn't cancerous and now she's up and about again. And though my friend says she would have been able to handle it if her doggy had died, I remember reading her messages about it all and feeling scared for her. I remember feeling like there was no way this dog could die right now, that it would be too much on her plate with all that was going on with her father being ill, her own health scare and the sudden instability and anxiety in her life. And so, I prayed for her dog to be healed. I pleaded with God to give her this reprieve. And He did. And somehow, at the same time, took mine away.
I have to admit it does bother me that my prayers work for other people and not for me. I guess I take for granted the ones that do. We are provided for (somehow) and she didn't suffer long either. People I love make it to and from places safely and we're safe and loved. I do have a lot of blessings. But I can't help but feel like these major ones, the ones that break me to pieces fall on deaf ears. And then, at the same time, I would accept it if that was the case. I would accept all the heartbreak and all the grief and all the pain if it meant those I pray for wouldn't have to.
I would give anything to have my Jemma alive again, but I wouldn't ever wish that it was reversed and my friend's dog be taken instead of mine.
I just hope God has taken her swimming. When she was on the vet table and she was terrified, I told her we would go swimming tomorrow. I hope God kept my promise. Please, God, keep my promise to my baby girl.