This morning I woke up much like every Wednesday and rolled out of bed for prayer. It was a good prayer time, Jesus was lifted up and people were prayed for. Our elder team gets up early because we believe that prayer is important, its essential and its vital to the life blood of the Bride. As prayer ended, we started off our meeting with our current church planter and elder and he informed the group that it was true, a good friend and leader in our community had fallen and was removed as an elder and pastor of a major church. For Pastors, there is nothing more devastating than hearing that someone had fallen. As leaders in the community it immediately caused a tension that was physical. My heart sank, a brother was hurting and his family was in the crosshairs of the world.
We prayed and we grieved. A brother was hurting, and his family is in the crosshairs, but Jesus is still good, right and perfect. He is still King and he still reigns on high, may we never forget that.
I sat down at my computer, getting ready for the firehose of work and wondered how quickly the social media ecosphere would take to a fallen brother. 8AM and the blogs were already picking up the story, my heart sank deeper. I promised myself that I wouldn’t read the comments and I wouldn’t engage… but I did. I wanted to know and it brought me deeper into sadness and sinfully murdering people in my mind. How could brothers and sisters say these kinds of things about a fellow brother? Did they not remember that he is sinful man just like me? My mind was racing, is this how the church reacts to brokenness? What if I fall? What if I’m found out, that I’m not as good as a Christian as I portray? What about his family, I hope they aren’t reading the things that are being said. Would this be the way that the church treats my family?
All these questions came racing across my mind, instantly pulling my heart from sadness to fear to anger and back again. So I prayed. Not because I’m a great Christian, but I prayed because there was nothing that I could do. I prayed, my co-workers knew that something was wrong and I didn’t care. My family was under attack and seemingly it was from within.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
The words echoed in my heart and in my head. I once was lost and now I’m found, I was blind but now I see. How glorious grace is. Not the Americanized cheap grace, but the life giving grace that can only be found in Jesus. My brother is hurting and his family is still in the crosshairs.
This letter is for you Christian, that grace my abound in your life. Amazing Grace. When you are given a voice that has the potential to reach thousands, may grace abound. When you post your thoughts on family, may grace abound. When a man is hurting, may grace abound and when his family is put up for public display, may grace abound. My friend is a man, broken like the rest of us. He has his faults and they are very public. May we look upon the mirror as if our faults and our brokenness is laid as bare as his, because it is. May we be a people of repentance, reconciliation and grace, because we were bought with a price. Called to be a distinct community in a pagan world. So many of us failed today, my grace abound.