We should consider the church as a haven for messy people.
The Church is a place where we can look up from the messes we’ve made and discover that we’re not the only ones who make them.
A recent article published on relevantmagazine.com wrestled, surprisingly, with the subject matter of messiness—but not as one might assume, speaking of a collection of cluttered items and material wares, but rather our “messiness” as people, and more specifically, the Church. The author of the article approaches the somewhat touchy matter by beginning his article with a personal anecdote about an encounter he had while moving into his new home.
He was returning his keys to his old apartment complex office when he happened upon an older man who apparently also lived in the building. This older gentleman was having difficulty with paying his rent through the upgraded online system, and was visibly struggling to figure out how to successfully finagle his account.
Long story short, the author helped him maneuver his way through the system and pay his bill, thus opening a dialogue between the two, in which they began discussing church (the subject arising after the author, sensing deep loneliness in the man’s spirit, invited him to attend services). In response, the elderly tenant declined politely, explaining simply that “I did a lot of drugs when I was younger.”
The author heard almost tangibly “the shame and guilt in his voice,” clearly revealing through his response that, to his mind, “the church was a place where the super spiritual go to put their moral goodness on display—his messiness and his mistakes just simply wouldn’t fit in.” The article then follows this line of thinking—the reminder that not everyone has positive associations with the Church—addressing it and exploring it from the view of Christianity, and thus creating a fascinating and challenging open forum.