To the church-sick christian
I so often write about my desire to go home to Alabama because sometimes I miss my people, but the truth is that, no matter where I am, I’m the sore-thumb kind.
I thought I had found my people when I started going to church camp – all young, bare-footed, with braces and bangs, singing four-part harmony. We sounded good together, but it turned out, they weren’t my people. Nothing we said we believed seemed to stick.
I thought I had found my people when we shared the wailing music, when we wrote our names in sharpy cursive on red plastic cups, and held each others’ hair back when the rebellion sicknesses set in. I thought they were my people who stayed up late in the night discussing sex and freedom, abusing our bodies just so we could be together, so afraid of Alone.
I thought my people were mostly white. I thought we were middle class, beautiful, young, and artsy, but I was wrong. When it really comes down to truth, I was wrong.
“Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” ~1 Peter 2:10
I am only really a part of the people of God, and even then I’m called an alien, the sore-thumb kind, a wayfaring stranger, but too, a holy priest from a royal nation, chosen and belonging to God. And why is that so? Why am I so different? Why ought I be? And why must I claim this screwed up bunch of folk called “believers”?
It all has to do with how dark it is behind us and sometimes in us. I’m a people with you running toward the light, and I can’t avoid it anymore, you and I, our spirit names summoned, Beloved and Beloved. We have to go together on purpose. We’re the church.
I need you, church. I am same as you, church, sick as you, saved. Now would you with me declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness and into His wonderful light? Can we not run from each other anymore? Let’s go together.
You are my people.