Thursday, March 08, 2007

Where's Amazing Grace?

(This post is by Lindsay Cade. It was originally posted on the Project Mustard Seed site).

Recently, a church minister was found to be human
. Consequently, he was fired. Well, that's not entirely true. He quit before they could hang his dirty laundry out to dry in the town square. The head pastor gave some hope to the situation by saying that the church would pay the minister through May. This would give him some time to find another job. Last wednesday, the church voted to stop paying him.

You see, the church ran out of grace. They were taken aback a few months ago when they found out the financial secretary had stole about a quarter of a million dollars from the church. The church, after months of investigation, decided to let the secretary pay back the amount over the same period of time she had been stealing it. They showed her grace by never going to court with this crime.

So where's the amazing grace? It was used up over the last few months.

You ask why I mention this? Because I'm the daughter of the minister I just told about. These are the things I think of when I hear the word "church"--Scandal, lack of grace, witch hunts, gossip and a standard that I could never meet even though I sold my life to it.

My story is just one of the many you'll find in Cooper-Young. Most people are recovering from church. Some have given up completely.

Growing up, I committed myself to meeting the standard that religion puts on us. I felt pressure to uphold the image of a leader--stronger than most and godly, good, christian. It wasn't until about two years ago that I gave up trying to uphold some type of image. The truth is I'm human. I'm just like you. Some days I win battles. Some days I lose them all in shame. My songs speak of wanting to be free. I'm not beyond the law that God gave us to follow, but I am somehow forgiven by grace.

So before we all go any further, I just want to say that I'm a mess. Get up in my business if you have to. Don't let me pretend to be more than I am. That's what community is to me. That's what church maybe should be.

I might go back to harlotry with that scar deep inside of me.
I've got something that's in me and I want to be free.
There's not a place where you can escape.
There's not a person who will fill the space.
Running, Screaming, Crying out in emptiness,
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me.
Don't leave me
All alone.
Run with him into the sea.
The water's deep but so is he.
Look to him for all you need.
Breathe in deep.
You'll never find until you seek.
He waits for you patiently.
Run to him recklessly.
I want to be free!

1 comment:

Jason Elder said...

I think that you phrased it quite well when you said, "They ran out of grace." I wonder why this situation is typical and why we proclaim grace from God but never really offer grace from one another. That's what's amazingly graceless. I just don't get how we perceive clergy.

I can't imagine how hurt/angry your family must be.