Look for the helpers

‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ Fred Rogers
I have been writing some about the churches I left and the church that eventually caused me to almost give up on God because of the mishandling. So today, I want to sidebar into a lighter short about what I learned about church and why it has always been worth the struggle and hurt I endured to get where I am today.
In speaking about my experiences in church, I can come across as rude, angry, and bitter. Those emotions are certainly there. I am a passionate person who without major self discipline wears his emotions on his sleeve for all to see and poke at. I often times get carried away wanting to rail against those who have not only done me wrong but hurt those I love. I take up arms and want to fight a war to save them, that is in my heart. I would spend a lifetime trying to tear down those would enslave people by any means let alone in the name of God.
Waging war may win you a cause, but it is never without high cost. I lose sight of that so many times. I can feel so vindicated, so justified in my righteous cause that all I’m doing in that moment is creating more collateral damage for others to clean up. Church is not for us to fight one another; it has but one purpose: sanctuary for all.
Church is to be a place of healing. You don’t check into a hospital in perfect health expecting to just hang out. You go because things beyond your control are happening, and you need help. Your soul may be hurting from loss, your spirit broken from betrayal, your body sensitive from an unwelcome touch, anything. Church is supposed to be the place you can come to, not that everyone there is some expert. Most are just as wounded and hurting as you are. However, there are always those helping in the church that have been as hurt and broken as you and are ready to be there for you, a place where you can be understood and listened to.
Church is not meant to be judgmental. The Bible teaches us that God judges the heart of men. So regardless of our tattoos or scars, our rags or suits, we should be able to come and sit next to one another without judging. God is working in all of us. (Matthew 11:28-30) He hasn’t gotten you further along simply because you look better. Have you already forgotten the mental battles you were facing as you dressed nice for church? We all have our own struggles, pitfalls, and path. We can never know what someone else is going through. Encourage them, don’t stare. Smile, don’t shake your head. God is the one who will sort things out after all is said and done, not us.
The Bible also shows us that God is a gracious and loving father. If we have a need and ask for something he won’t punish us for it. (Luke 11:13) Why do we turn to those we’re supposed to be showing love to and do this then? When someone comes in battered from a rough week at work, at home, or just in their mind, why would we do anything but help them? There have been times if you stop to think of them, those moments that turned an entire situation around for you. The moment someone gave you the words you needed or the smile that changed your outlook or even the money that got you past the due date. Someone somewhere helped you when you couldn’t help yourself. That is the goal of church.
On the field of battle in the med centers they don’t belittle soldiers for how they got wounded. They don’t withhold medicine unless you’ve said the right things. They want you in top shape so you can be back out there fighting for the cause asap. That is how we should be, looking to be that pick-me-up that someone around us may need. So in all this, I want to help. There are those in the cult fighting just as hard as those outside it. I want to help those on both sides and those stuck in the midst of cross fire. I want to be a helper. Not someone who makes the yoke of Christ heavier than it was intended. I love you all, even when we disagree about things, know that I am praying for you, and I hope you continue to do so for me.

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