Updated on October 29, 2015
Updated on October 29, 2015
I heard a story this week about a boy, raised in the church, gets into some pornography, and his parents find out about it. Yeah, he’s a boy. He’s normal, right?
I imagine that this scenario has played out thousands of times in families all over the world. This kid, however, was forced by his parents to stand up in front of the church and confess his sin, forever marked with the guilt and shame of his adolescent mistake.
His life spiraled downward, drugs and alcohol winning the war in the face of overwhelming shame in his mind and heart.
“The first time I did heroin was the first time I ever felt loved.”
It’s unimaginable to me. I don’t understand any of it, do you? It was a false love he felt, but to him, somehow it translated as “love.” It was a fake, a fraud and a lie. And my heart is so incredibly sad.
I’m sure his parents meant well. I’m sure they thought this public shaming would bring him to repentance and set his life “back on track.” I would bet my life that they would never have considered that one act of shame could set their son’s life on a path to a life of self-destructive behavior. But it did.
A friend of his said,
I want to wrap my arms around him and syphon the suffering out of him.
Those words moved me in way that’s difficult to describe. To syphon the suffering out of him… and put it where? Syphon it to the pit of hell where it belongs? Syphon it back into his parents who caused this pain? Syphon it to the church who was everything BUT the church to this kid who needed to be privately counseled, loved above all, valued for his humanity, forgiven and guided?
What my heart wants is for the Holy Spirit to syphon his suffering deep into the very heart of Christ, where there is no shame, where there is hope beyond the despair. I want the Holy Spirit to take it and churn it up and turn it into a story where good triumphs over evil, where hope snuffs out shame.
Yet I fear that the evil of shame heaped on a mere boy who desperately needed to be shown by example the living, breathing, loving, forgiving heart of Christ… well, I fear the shame may win. The shame may rob him of whatever sliver of hope his life may hold.
The church failed this kid. His parents failed him, but they failed him because they believed the evil lie of the church, that he was
just not good enough to be loved by God.
I’m sure God’s heart is sickened… much more so than mine. I trust he is doing everything to pursue him, to fight against the odds that somehow he will trust that only in HIM can he find rest, peace, acceptance and love.
It’s time we BE the Church. The Church that was sent on a mission to love God and love others. Because to choose to require a kid to be publicly shamed in order to receive God’s love is wrong. It doesn’t reflect the heart of Christ. To BE the Church, is to embrace the sinful and suffering among us, to not just say, but BE the loving arms that syphon out the suffering and guide them to the source of hope. We are the hands and feet and arms of Jesus. Let’s represent him well. Let’s choose to love first, let’s choose to syphon the suffering, because
Love Never Fails.
This is the 29th post in my series Love Never Fails for the Write 31 Days blogging challenge. You can click here to go to my introduction page and find links to all the posts in the series. Also, if you’d like to receive these posts directly in your inbox, just enter your email address in the bar to the right. I promise to never share your information.