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Im Listening


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. . . and I am not liking what I hear.


15 years old . . . . crying. The pain of rejection too much to bear at such a young age. He wanted what I refused to give, what others had already taken. A number comes up on the television.




Do you feel lost, alone? We understand. 24 hours a day, let us love you.




Hands shaking, number dialed.




"I just want to be loved. I hate the way they look at me, it makes me feel dirty."




"Well, it has to be YOUR fault....the way you dress entices them. They are weak. You are the one who is wrong. You need to own up, young lady, and become respectable"




I'm sobbing "It wasn't my fault. I did nothing to deserve this."




"Jesus loves you but that won't last if you do not change." CLICK . . . . .




We had been friends. . . I thought. I saw you across the store, picking out your pretty pink shirts and cute jeans for spring. I know you saw me, too. I saw the look of recognition and then the blank stare and I saw you push the stroller away so I would know, without a doubt, you wanted me to stay away.




You disagreed with my choices. Did you realize, however, how much I needed you through those choices, how much I needed my friend, some guidance? How I longed to tell you that my sins were not contagious.




Standing at the bar, the loud music vibrating through my body. A man offers me a beer. I turn around and laugh.




"Didn't we use to go to church together."




Slick smile . . . . eyes no where near my face.




"So where's the wife?"




"Left her at home. You wanna hang with me? I always thought you were so hot."




My skin crawls, no one is safe. And all I could think is: They judge ME?




A Sunday morning. The pain is intense, I need relief. I get dressed and drive to church. I slip into the once familiar pews and read through the program.




Not much has changed. Children's program. Sunday night dinner. A call to help those in another country.




I let go and tears are running down my face. I put my head down, ashamed at my weakness. A woman comes up to talk to me, sees the tears and tells me that it's good to see me, it's been just too long, and walks away.




Please, someone. Tell me how to get through this!!!!!




Another person comes up, hands me a welcome visitor packet. I wipe away the tears and tell him I had been a part of this church for five years. I figure I was easier to recongize with a plastic smile. The REAL ME is too unrecognizable.




Not one hug. Not one hand held out.




The music in the background makes me laugh . . . .




If we are the body, why aren't His arms reaching . . . .




Yes! Why aren't they?




I get up and leave. It's really no different IN THERE than it is OUT THERE.




A four-top, waiting to be served. Overhearing the conversation makes me dread the next hour.




"I thought she was a strong Christian, but she believes in Ev-O-lu-tion." A word spat out quickly, scared that if it lingers on the lips, the sin will infect her soul.




"Three hail mary's and you'll be good as new"




An hour of tortue, rudeness, contempt.




"Good night, young lady, can't you figure out how to get this right? I swear, such incompetence"








I'm listening. I'm observing and it makes me sad. How I long for one moment to stand up and scream.




"Doesn't anyone get it?"




Sometimes, okay, most of the time, you need to learn to keep your mouth shut, your arms open and just let a grieving, broken person BE.




I have so little left and you tell me to give it to God. Why would I tempt such fate knowing how little I have learned that you believe I am worth?




I'll keep what's left and hold on tight, you get no part of it anymore. You have only proven to me that you are not strong enough to handle it or ME. But . . . . your loss. Because, I promise you, the kid is okay. Even with a hangover, some dirt on my face and a bad word on my lips.




And churches wonder why they are losing so many people. It's simple really. You lost us because you never wanted us in the first place . . . ..




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And churches wonder why they are losing so many people.


Mssshelle, I am not sure if this is your testimomy or a poem you wrote? If it is - I relate so well to your pain - it really does get easier. Stay with us and we will help you get through any confusion. Looking forward to hearing more from you my friend!

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