I’ve been reading things about what stops us from changing the world. What binds us to the easy comfort of faith and trying to be “good people”.
Overwhelmingly, what I’ve gleaned is that to make an impact you need to get uncomfortable. Be real with yourself when it comes to your walk with GOD and what that means for the people around you. Peel yourself off the beaten path and follow GOD among the thin rows that wind between trees and alongside steep cliffs.
I agree. I think a little more discomfort all the way around is a necessary and proper thing.
When I look at the things in my life that need attention, I can’t help but consider the conflicts over the past few years. I have turned over these events again and again. While they were happening I looked for any way out; a way to be wrong or mistaken. But, when I remember the problems and decisions that caused me to feel the deepest conviction what I notice is that they all bear a strange resemblance:
I was alone in my conviction.
When I really needed someone to say, “Cathy, that was jacked up.” No one did.
Of course in marriage, Doug has told me that innumerable times. But when it came to The Church and to how I treated members therein, I never heard a word about it. I refuse to believe that I’m perfect. So, it must not be that I float along free of interpersonal onus when I’ve had such major conflict inside The Church with so many people.
Looking back at the times that we’ve been hurt up to even recently, I see a void that hurts worse than anything anyone has done or said to me.
What hasn’t been done or said for me.
I am guilty of it too. Not saying or doing anything on behalf of someone in The Church I see being hurt by someone else in The Church. I have heard and said things like,
“Everyone has their own battles”
“Well, they are young.”
“They don’t know you like I do.”
“I know you aren’t wrong.”
I say enough is enough.
In a lot of these situations, people did things that others genuinely agreed were terrible, harmful, disrespectful, cruel, and even traumatizing. And yet, those same people refuse to say anything to the offending party. How is that accountability?
We wrongfully get exploited by a ministry in our home: “Well. Ministry is hard.”
Our kindness and hospitality gets spit back at us and although overwhelmingly it is agreed upon that we are doing what’s right: “You know they have feelings too, it’s better not to bother with it.”
Quite literally our livelihood is endangered by someone else’s mismanagement and no one says a word about sticking up for us.
Rumors destroyed relationships before they were even allowed to happen, “You know such and such is just like that.” “This needs to be over now.”
Instead, I have, and I know others who have, had to just cut entirely off from people, institutions, and opportunities because the silence of others had stolen our voices.
The person who hurt you doesn’t want to listen, the people who will listen want to do only that.
I can’t be silent anymore. I see all the time people hurting other people and the victims being okay with it. It’s not about starting “drama” or being harsh. You can tell someone that they are being destructive to others without having a Church split. If you can’t tell someone they are wrong you do not care about them very much.
Why are we so quick to “hold our brother accountable” for things like drinking or not showing up to Church enough, but not when things can be said of them like, “It just seems like they don’t care”?
Why don’t we look at some of these situations where we know that someone is hurting someone else in the Church through gossip, slander, bullying, or exclusion and say to them stop?
There isn’t enough discomfort. Maybe you need to tell someone that you care about that they are hurting someone else you care about and that it isn’t okay. We talk about justice for others and helping those who have no voice and yet we ignore inside our own Body the needs of those around us.
At this point I feel more likely that someone would speak to another person about being rude to a complete stranger than speak to a friend on my behalf.
Why is that silence permitted?
I can’t trust in The Church that someone will speak up for me if I’m falsely accused. The excuse that most often comes out of other’s mouths is, “Well, I know you aren’t like that”. So then I ask:
Why are you letting someone else believe it? And why are you letting them spread a lie?
The age old excuse has most likely come forth now, “but it’s not my place”.
What is your place then? Telling me that someone is treating myself and others abhorrently and doing nothing about it?
If you don’t feel it’s your place, don’t open your mouth, even to the person you feel sorry for.
Newsflash: Giving someone the silent treatment on behalf of someone is not helpful. You need to actually tell them what they are doing wrong. Then you can give them the silent treatment if they don’t hear you because there is nothing left to say.
I have come so close in the last few months to just leaving everything but my husband. Holing up inside the safety of work and closing out everyone who isn’t legally supposed to talk to me or paid to listen.
Trust is hard enough. Trust + trauma is more difficult. Trust + trauma + repeated pain in the same area is maybe the most gut-wrenching agony I’ve ever experienced.
Stop giving people an out. Stop letting people run rampant and hurt those you love. Do you want a higher standard?
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