Monday Musings – 16/08/10
MJ and I returned last week from our “re-construction” holiday (see previous blog for details). I had a chance to read one novel and two books, including one by Stephen Mansfield called “ReChurch” (Healing Your Way Back to the People of God).
In his book, Mansfield writes to people who have had difficulty moving on from, or letting go of, a hurtful situation caused by the Church. I like books that do not massage your wound but instead slap your wrist when needed. “Re-church” is one of those books.
I draw your attention to two chapters in particular as a means of wetting your appetite for the book, not as an attempt to summarize it in my blog.
Chapter four “Lessons from a season in Hell” asks five questions:
1) Of the things your critics said, what do you now know to be true?
2) How did you try to medicate your wounded soul?
3) Were you clinging to anything that contributed to your church hurt?
4) What did those closest to you do when you went through the fire?
5) During the bruising season, what fed your inspiration and your dreams?
Chapter five “The Throne Room of Your Mind” is a tremendous teaching on the power of forgiveness! In this chapter he quotes from Frederic Buechner’s book “Wishful Thinking”:
“Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savour to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back – in many ways it is the feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”
In my opinion, “ReChurch” is a must read for everyone who has any connection with the Church. For certain, if you consider yourself to have been wounded by the stupidity and hurt that takes place in the Church, or if you have been the one who inflicted the pain, the twenty dollars is worth spending to buy the book (unless you have a mother-in-law who gives it to you for free like mine did).
So, I can tell you I had a great “re-construction” vacation and now MJ and I are ready to get back to “re-inventing” the church!!!
Until next Monday…
“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”