Friday, April 15, 2011

Hyam's Comment

The post below came as a comment yesterday. It is powerful (and painful) and I felt it deserved to be read more widely and carefully.

I admire Hyam for not giving up. Despite the painful rejections from churches, clergy, and congregations, he has finally found people who accept him.

I've been in that boat. I had a public disclosure done in two small communities in which I lived. I have had people shuffle their kids to the other side of pews when I sat down beside them. I have had deacons shadow me whenever I was in the building.

When my wife (now ex) got a restraining order against me rather than talk about our issues, I had to return to my home province and thought I could find some measure of peace in a church that had known me for several years, and who often referred to me as a son.

I was mistaken, and a few weeks later, the pastor sat me down (at a mall food court) to tell me that I was no longer welcome because his first obligation was his congregation and I wasn't a part of it.

It wasn't the first church or religious organization to turn their back, but it hurt the most.

It took me a few more years to find another church. Even there, we had many meetings in the beginning... they asked me to stop coming for a while, and ironed out a bunch of rules and regulations that were supposedly for the "good of the community". The board discussed me like I wasn't really a person, but more of an issue that had to be "dealt with".

But things have changed. I have grown more humble in the situation, and they have grown more gracious. (it didn't hurt that the head pastor left, and a much more reasonable man took his place). Last Christmas, I was even a soloist in their choir...

Things can change, and some hearts (and some Christians) can learn, with time, to look past who you used to be and learn to see who you are. Don't give up. The body of Christ needs you just as much as it needs anyone else.

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