Sunday, May 31, 2009
So yesterday, our church headed up a beautification day at a local middle school. We have sort of adopted the school. Our youth pastors go and minister to the kids, have lunch with them, that sort of thing and yesterday was part of our duties as a church. There were over 200 of us, lots of people from the church, but also football players and wrestlers from the high school. It was really a beautiful event, helping out the community, side by side with people who share a faith in God and all that is right and loving.
Granted, the kids complained, I expected that. It was hot and as Josh put it.. borrrrrrrrrringggg. However, they all really did help for the most part. Briana, who is 6, really did her part by keeping all the roly poly bugs or as we call them, potato bugs, out of the way for me as I dug out weeds. She really played the part of insect conservationist.
We were told to bring our own gardening tools, which makes total sense. We were told to mark them with our names so they didn't get lost. So we did. I threw in a pair of old hand clippers, with long wooden handles.. really my favorite tool, aside from my super cool chain saw, but I didn't bring that. No, I brought the long handled clippers because I knew there would be a lot of bush-whacking and trimming going on.
We weren't there long when finally found a place to throw down our tools and get to weeding. As Warren and I were working, apparently someone came by and grabbed the clippers and said, I'm borrowing these, and took off. Our oldest, Austin didn't say anything at first, he wasn't sure what to say to the guy, which I didn't expect him to. When Austin finally told us, the guy was long gone. Warren and Austin went looking for the guy right after that and Warren thinks he saw the guy, but wasn't exactly sure, and so didn't go up to him. However, he figured the guy would bring them back, after all.
Fast forward a few hours. During which we scouted the entire grounds for the clippers and to no avail. We told several people what happened and they all told us to wait until the end, because everyone puts all the tools in a pile, if they have someone elses tools, they just put them into a big pile and you can go check it out and find them. Ok Cool, I was no longer worried. At the end we were sitting down and I was keeping watch over said, tool pile, and never saw them placed there. We all kept walking by the pile and checking and rechecking. They just never turned up. So Warren again found the guy from our church who was the lead guy on the beautification project, and he told Warren, he was going to do another run through the property and take anything he finds, to the church and leave it in the lobby. Well we left, figuring he'd find them, or someone who took them would bring them to the church, once they discovered they had someone elses tool.
Neither of those situations happened. Our tool wasn't found, or brought to the church. Whoever walked off with them, didn't borrow them, they took them. I can only hope, the guy brings them to church today, because really, not everyone goes to church on Saturday nights, so maybe he'll come today with the clippers.. I still have hope.
These are people I sit side by side and pray with. People who look me in the eye every week and smile and say hello. Maybe I'm crazy, but I thought a church was a place you can go and feel safe. Maybe I'm naive in thinking everyone there, within those walls and under the roof, should be like family. A safe place to go. A place you can go and join hands with and pray with, worship with, grow with. how then is it possible, if that is what it means to be a church family, that someone can willingly take something, not ASK to borrow, but TELL, and then not bring back. Our name is written in red sharpie on the handles. It isn't like they don't know. I want to be able to trust that when I walk through those double doors, everyone in there is someone I CAN look in the eyes and everyone there is someone, who I can count on in a time of need. Seriously, it isn't about the actual tool, I mean, yeah I loved those things.. they were my go to tool, I used them ALL the time, no, it isn't about the tool, that is a material thing. What I feel was stolen from me, really, was my trust and my faith that, at least in church.. at least those people in church, are people I can turn to, no matter what and ask anything of. I feel very burned, I feel let down. I feel sad. This is a church where I really felt a part of, like we were a community within the church. Now, it will be hard to go back and look them in the eyes. Because really, I have no idea who has them. Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of people I KNOW their heart, I KNOW I can look in the eye, people I DO trust. But I want to be able to look everyone in the eye. The world is a dark place. I get that everyone sins, everyone has a side of them that they aren't proud of, but I thought.. I hoped.. at church, THOSE were the only people I knew I could count on. Those were the people, hands to God during worship, who's voices called out with mine every week, Amen. Trust builds, faith builds.. but now.. it has been taken away.
Maybe this is a good lesson for me, a lesson I don't want to be true.. That you just can't trust anyone, anywhere. I don't want to feel this way.
My faith in God is unshaken, maybe I just need to hold to that.
I still have hope..
Warren was at church this morning, running slides for the services and said the clippers did not turn up. I really don't know what to make of this. Trust is a huge deal to me, I have had people lose my trust, and in turn, I walked away and never looked back. I don't want to do this with our church, but how can I go there every week, volunteer my time and raise my children under their morals and values, when I feel so betrayed. I cannot say I feel betrayed by the entire church, that is ridiculous, but I do feel betrayed. We took time out on a Saturday to join our church in helping the community and we were burned in the process. What makes me want to continue to help? My heart as a Christian tells me to forgive and move forward. I should, I know. I am finding it difficult at this point because I cannot go to church now and look at people and see them look me in the eye, or stand next to them during the service, hold their hand, hug them, shake their hand, as our pastor sometimes has us do(we are a community, we are a family right? Why wouldn't we hug each other and reach out a hand to say hello?)I can't just do this with an open heart because what if I am looking into the eyes of the person who stole from us? I know what some of you are thinking, that's part of being a Christian, you forgive, it's what Jesus would do. I just find it very difficult right now and I suppose it is something I need to pray about. I just have a bad taste in my mouth about it. I don't feel like we are supported or that anyone is going to be held accountable. Maybe it isn't up to the church to hold that person accountable. Maybe he will be convicted for being dishonest. Maybe he will ask God for forgiveness. I hope he does. I pray he is forgiven.
I just wish I could feel better about this, I am sure I will get there eventually. I mean, as I said.. this isn't about the tool, it's about the trust that was broken, the betrayal I feel as a member of this church. I don't know that this will just go away. I hope it does, I hope I can pray it away or reason it away, but it doesn't seem likely. The church is a place where I want to go and be able to leave my troubles and mistrusts of the world behind, and be surrounded by people I know and trust. If you can't get that at church...
I want to say again, this feeling about the church doesn't extend to everyone within our church, I know there ARE a few people there I can turn to and know who they are, and that I can trust them, but the ones I don't feel that way about, far outweigh those that I do.
I will keep praying..