Why can’t people be who they pretend to be?

People who pretended to be my friends but didn’t want to compromise their place in the church and so abandoned me.

A man who pretended to be my pastor but in all actuality was the mastermind behind the ostracism and condemnation I experienced.

His brother who taught classes about grace and spoke of how God was softening his heart – especially after his wife and children told him life was better when he was out of town – yet responded to us with such a harsh knee-jerk reaction that we were tossed out of the church.

The person in the highest lay-leader position in the church – who I first got to know when he spoke to teenagers about God’s love for them no matter how difficult their life had been – and who, himself, was caught in his own failings in flirting with having an affair – which played largely in my ability to trust that good could come of this – but he fears “complications” if he were to advocate for me.

If any of these people were who they pretend to be, they would have been calling, knocking down our door, and making every effort possible to be Jesus to us – to talk through every detail of the past, every hurt, every question, every unresolved issue from the past 17 years. They would have loved unconditionally, extended grace, asked for forgiveness, embraced a plan for reconciliation.

But Jesus has not shown up on my doorstep. He has not called on my phone or sent me an email. So, I must decide if Jesus has abandoned me, or if Jesus just can’t be found in the people who claim to know, trust, and follow Him.

My friends.

My pastor.

My teacher.

My example.

What I am certain of is that Jesus is right here with me.  And as long as He isn’t showing  up in them – pursuing me as a shepherd who leaves the 99 and goes after the one, there is no possibility of grace, forgiveness, reconciliation.

Grace wins when Jesus shows up in people.


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