Monday, 8 December 2008

a blog post about those for whom jesus really weeps

I emailed my letter of membership resignation to the church of Place of Former Employment yesterday. After over a decade, a real cutting of apron strings, kite strings, exhilaration, aloneness. I'm both relieved and devastated.

I think I have come to the belief that, irrespective of the question of whether or not the church is something Christ intended to found, the Church is an ideal. Certainly, the Church has incredible potential for truly functioning as the Body of Christ on earth, full of a transforming love, grace and truth with the capacity to bring the world right back to how it was before sin entered the world. However, each individual local church is limited by each one of its members being a product of the world which it seeks to transform. And each us as humans possess the capacity for love, grace and truth but also ignorance, prejudice and unkindness, so also does each local church. To put it another way, humans aren't perfect so the church and Church will never be.

So maybe when the Church rises above its own propensities and limitations, maybe that's the true miracle of the incarnation and of grace. I saw it happen many times at Place of Former Employment, and I saw also the devastation of when it failed to happen. I don't want to imply that, by leaving, I've come to consider them inadequate. It's simply that I'd rather Jesus were allowed to concentrate his weeping over the community which Place of Former Employment aims to transform rather than the intricacies of their response to one ex-employee's marital choices. I still long for the miracles to happen.

If such a miracles are to take place within the community which Place of Former Employment aims to transform, though will have to take place from within the neighbourhoods and families and children who actually live and work and suffer and play there. Grass roots stuff. Bottom up. Groudn level. Rhizomatic. Radical. Could Place of Former Employment enable or allow such a miracle to erupt from beneath or underneath itself? Yes. Would they? I hope so. The people living in those streets are some of the ones over whom Jesus really weeps.

I think it's time that I enabled Jesus to concentrate his weeping on them. I'm going to make this, then, is the final post of Jesus Wept.

This blog, I have decided, has run its course. I no longer feel as though I'm fighting the world for the right to love. I'm now married to Beloved, and have a wonderful new job as well. Sometimes the demons still come screeching and clattering in through my ear, but sometimes they make Jesus and I laugh, too. I'll continue fighting for faith and for a place within Christianity. But whereas a year or so ago I felt so alienated as to believe that God to be the only reality in the universe, I've now come to realise that my husband and family and friends are real, too. Whereas I've come to struggle with the simplicity and harshness of much that the evangelicals proclaim, I still believe that at their essence they're right in insisting that it all must begin with love and with relationships.

I've met some wonderful people, both online and offline, through this blog. I don't think it'll be long, then, before I'm back blogging again elsewhere. Anyone who would like to keep in touch or would like to know when and where my next blog emerges from, do please drop me an email at

And please, keep praying for them...

Love to you all


Erika Baker said...

Go in peace, Grace.
And thank you for your friendship, it has meant and does mean a lot to me.

My prayers will accompany you wherever life will take you.

wilsonian said...

I miss you when you go.

But I am sooooo happy that life is so good for you! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm gutted that this blog has run its course, even though I kind of expected it. Thank you for what you have brought to the blogosphere so far.

Steve Lancaster said...

" their essence they're right in insisting that it all must begin with love and with relationships..."

...begin and proceed and end...

Much love, from me and Emma (who you've not yet met) to you and Beloved.

Perhaps we'll meet again through mutual friends?