Disappointed

Feb 6, 2009

I typically avoid late night blog posts or poignant memos (A-hem: Jerry Maguire). Can’t help myself tonight. Today’s conversation at re:create (which actually began two days ago and continued right on through tonight) left me with thoughts which require spilling. I’ll start with a confession:

I’m achingly disappointed in church.

Have been for quite a while. It seems plastic to me. Manufactured. And completely inadequate to lead my broken self to a place of wholeness only found in connection with God. More times than not, I go because it’s on my to-do list, and (i hate this part) I’m afraid of what would people would think if I didn’t show.

Horrible, horrible reasons to go to church.

I love church. Love the people who are part of the church. But I miss the sacred. The holy. The quiet intensity of my spirit longs to lose itself in the reality of God, while surrounded by others who likewise stand (kneel, sit) wrapped in His presence. I ache for something deeper, something that meets my need for beauty and connection and love and relationship in a tangible way. This has been lost somewhere in the midst of all the programming, light shows, fog machines and video productions.

Ironic that the Christian church’s attempt to escape rote liturgy has resulted in manufactured productions driving true seekers back toward sacred tradition for satisfaction.

Yesterday, Ian Morgan Cron led our group in a celebration of the Eucharist. It was sacred. Holy. Precious. Intense. Beautiful. And the richness of the moment moved me to reverent tears for the first time in too long. I saw myself for who I was and was overwhelmed by a God who said, “Come anyway.”

And so “disappointed” has been replaced by “hopeful.” Church will never be ideal. But this week it’s been real. And my heart is full.

4 Comments

  1. Jerolyn

    I think your disappointment resonates with more people who would care to admit it. I’ve just stared reading a book by Kay Warren called Dangerous Surrender. God wants all of each of us and there is something deep inside us that wants to give Him that. Our flesh and a million other things just get in the way.

    Reply
  2. Melissa

    I get what you mean. The depth and intensity of God is somehow lost. The reverence.

    I had a friend in college who sought these richer aspects of God and eventually landed in the Greek Orthodox church. He is a priest now and I believe he has found some of those missing elements in the liturgy and rituals.

    Reply
  3. Michele

    Good book, Jerolyn. Read it last summer. Like you said, I have a lot of junk that gets in the way of real surrender.

    I’m intrigued by your friend, Melissa. I can understand his hunger. I’ve considered becoming a monk. Except for all the monkish things. 🙂

    We shared a great conversation this week at recreate about the marriage of the experiential and the intellectual. Would’ve loved to have you both there to get your take.

    Reply
  4. Tiffany

    Rebecca Barlow of the group BarlowGirl was searching something deeper. When she read the Bible it was just like reading, she said there had to be something more, something she was missing. Something that our limited English language just can’t capture. So now she is learning hebrew and the Bible is coming alive. She just wants more and more of God. I think that is pretty amazing … and I’m where she is. I read and its like ok … but there has to be more what am I not seeing.

    Reply

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