So, tonight on the way to church it hit me: Sometimes Christians piss me off, but the Body of Christ never does. In fact, the Body of Christ never ceases to amaze me. And my only complaint is that the world tends to see Christians... and not The Body.
Let me explain:
Christians are people who label themselves as "little Christs"... people who follow Jesus... people who want to be known as belonging to the Christian Church. And over the years, they've gotten a bad rap. Because they are sinners. And they are hypocrites. And they are mean, ugly, evil things... wait, did I mention that they are sinners? The junk we have in our life (sin) keeps us from being good (holy) and therefore we are bad (sinners). (Thank you, Lee Morrison for teaching me how to keep it real- Theology 101.)
But.... The Body of Christ is... well, just that. The physical movement on earth of the person of Jesus.
And, I have been fortunate enough to witness The Body at it's best lately.
-I've seen people pour out love to my BFF who is adopting... they've answered prayers that her family hasn't even prayed yet. They've cleaned out their closets, attics, and homes to stock a future yard sale. They've offered resources beyond their own means... it's amazing.
-I've seen people jump on board to partner with another one of my besties who is moving to Africa. Did you catch that? MOVING TO AFRICA. Why? To be the Body of Christ to people who need some love there. Just because that's what you do... when God tells you to. And now people are rallying around them in a way that is beautiful. In our sadness of "losing" them, we are celebrating what's next for their lives.
-I've reconnected with several friends from college who are all in the process of answering God's call to adopt. Reading their blogs, seeing their Facebook posts... it's neat to see Him say the same thing to multiple people: Take care of My children.
-I've watched college students who used to like to "just" hang out now rally around each other in prayer and encouragement. They spend hours (upon hours upon hours) being together... being real... and loving God in community.
-I've seen multiple families open up their lives to a girl who had no where else to turn. One opened her home and her family's life to have her live with them. One opened her schedule and became her permanent taxi, daily taking her from one side of town to the other and taking her kids where they need to go. Others have provided meals, treats, conversation, wisdom, and... well... love. The life of this girl- and of her kids- will forever be impacted by the love of my friends.
-I've seen a friend lose a job and respond by saying, "That must just mean God has something else planned for me."
-I've seen another friend search and pray for what her role is in the homeless community where she feels called. After weeks and weeks searching and serving, her whole family now serves alongside her.
-I've seen a friend weep tears of joy because- over a year and a half later- she's finally able to go back to China- CANCER FREE. While she was receiving treatment and her body was in physical pain- her heart ached for the people she wasn't able to see in the country miles and miles away. And now she's gearing up to go back to the land she loves so much... because God is so good.
-I've made a new friend online as I've watched him seek out how he's supposed to get his mind, body, and spirit in shape. Better than that? He's my friend in real life, too.
-I've watched people drop everything on their important schedules to come to the aid of those in need.
-I've watched people completely rearrange their finances to give more away.
-I've watched people part with possessions they thought they couldn't live without.
-I've been in a room with other people as they read the Bible together and try to figure out just what it means.
-I've watched those same people get real with each other sharing real hurts, pains, joys, and struggles. We've wept and celebrated together.
And... all of these things have occurred RECENTLY. Did I mention this is amazing?
I'm fortunate enough to have been a part of the Body of Christ in the way He intended it when He called His church. Sure, we screw it up. We're human. We're sinners. But I beg of you: don't get so caught up in those Christians who are living life in a way that makes you crazy that you lose sight of The One they intend to follow. Ignore all they've... we've.... done to jack things up... and look to The One who can fix it all. Then- when you stop looking at us and start looking to Him... you'll see His Body. It's an amazing place to be... join us, k?