Many voices tell me that there must be distinct lines between sinners (like, me) and Church people. These borders keep order and provide security to those on the ‘inside’ of our Faith. This seems more from a reaction to control than actual sin.
But there are so many people with mental illness: Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, addictions, PTSD, and many others. We are truly an afflicted people.
“Most of the verses written about praise in God’s Word were voiced by people faced with crushing heartaches, injustice, treachery, slander, and scores of other difficult situations.”
—Joni Eareckson Tada
There needs to be an adjustment to the status quo. Room must be made for the ‘losers’ and the misfits. These are people for whom Christ died. They are special to God.
According to federal law, buildings must be accessible to the handicapped. Special signs are placed in the parking lots, for special parking and wheelchair ramps need to be installed. This is well and good. But let’s extend this ‘deliberateness’ to those with other needs as well.
“The power of the Church is not a parade of flawless people, but of a flawless Christ who embraces our flaws. The Church is not made up of whole people, rather of the broken people who find wholeness in a Christ who was broken for us.”
I encourage you to become proactive when it comes to “opening up” the Church to include ‘the brokenness of the other.’ Even a smile can make the difference to the down-trodden soul. Love the unlovely, just like Jesus.