Dear Church: A love letter to the body and the bride (I couldn’t make one metaphor stick)

Beloved Bride,

I watched you tonight. I sat in the car with sleeping littles while you passed Hope Centre windows en route to family dinner.

There goes that girl I met after she attended camp for the first time. I remember hugging her the week after her mother died. I remember watching her grow into this beautiful servant hearted woman, amazing leader.

There goes one of our seniors. Her grandchildren brought her back for bigger and better once. She put a clown costume on and fearlessly came onto stage, winning the team prize for best trade.

When the kids wake up and I walk in and I am greeted by the children from two of my favorite families. I feel the warmth of community deep and strong.

Later I will stand in the back of sanctuary and listen to you sing. I feel so in love with you that I cannot breath. There are young men and women who I have watched grow from angry or troubled teens. I see the anorexics healed. The anxious soothed. The prideful humbled. There on stage the kids I watched grow into these marvelous, wise and gifted parts of our body. There are people who love on my kids. People who serve with my husband. People that bring us food when babies are born. The ones that pray for us. It is too much for my clumsy mind…this lame blog.

But. Its been a ride these last years hasn’t it? Sometimes I’ve felt we’ve been more like a battered woman than a spotless bride. The layoffs, departures, conflict, drama. We’ve lost some dear ones and we still feel those phantom limbs just below the knee cap. Sometimes it aches. There have been transplants too and we are waiting to see if we can weight bare on them or not. There has been healing but we still limp. We’ve donated our kidneys to other churches, sliced off a piece of our liver to grow somewhere else.

My brother-in-law calls his wife ‘the bride’; always. It was when I knew I was going to like him. He calls her that no matter what. 20 years later, after everything he knows of her, he chooses to think of her as spotless bride.

Can we do the same? Can we look through the lens of what Jesus is doing in all of us, how He sees us? Can we trust that there is a method in this sometimes madness? Can we believe really deeply that devotion and dedication are hard; perhaps the hardest things. We are a terribly broken bunch, I have to tell you it is the whole point of the cross; of this church. Can we REALLY believe that it is what we do with our sins and missteps that shows how deep Grace has drilled? Do we believe that he is ABLE to be glorified in this? In spite of this? In spite all the ways we, the church, do the wrong things with right intentions or the right things with the wrong intentions. All the times we act without prayer or speak without grace. All the violations I’ve imposed on others by my self-righteousness and lack of love. All the times we’ve glossed over wounds in others rather than face them. All the times we’ve not pursued His peace with fervency. I know it goes so much deeper than all that…

We get things wrong. We are trying to get it right. It is the process of working out our faith and learning to walk in humility. No, we’ll likely never get it all right…but in the baby steps to righteousness may we make reverence, humility, love, grace and peace our footholds.

Still, I ask for your forgiveness in advance.

Even my baby steps have a tendency to step on toes.

But still. This love for you rages.

Melissa

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4 thoughts on “Dear Church: A love letter to the body and the bride (I couldn’t make one metaphor stick)

  1. “We get things wrong. We are trying to get it right. It is the process of working out our faith and learning to walk in humility” – this right here? is the process and the art of being the church. To allow one another to do this with grace is what makes us brothers and sisters…a body. Lovely.

  2. Hi Mellisa
    I think I found you through Flower patch farm girl. I see you are Canadian in B.C.? I’m now in Ontario.
    Your work is amazing. Your home is amazing. Your children are beautiful. Your heart is captivating.
    I’ve been reading for an hour now. I love the way you write. Your words have meaning and I like that about your blog. I feel comfort here.
    Funny how we fall upon certain blogs and feel the emotions right away.
    I’m on my iPad, so hopefully I won’t lose your blog. I’ll try to book mark it.
    Time for bed.
    So nice to meet you Mellisa.
    Love Claudie
    xoxo

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