I would like to share a very personal blog written by a pastor’s wife who lost her husband to suicide.
To the church that threw him away:
I struggle not to hate you. I hate that you call yourself a church. I hate that you probably are a Christian and you just failed to act like Christ. I hate that you didn’t care about him, about us, or about our children. I hate that you cared about your reputation more than a human being who was created and called by God. I hate that you didn’t love him when he needed it, and that you didn’t act like the church when we needed you the most. I hate that you lied, bullied and pushed your weight around to deliberately hurt him and make yourself look better. I hate that he may have been a nobody to you, but he was a somebody to us. He had people who loved him, who fought to help him, and to show him grace, forgiveness and kindness. Yet you threw him away as if he didn’t matter. Sadly, what I hate the most is myself– the fact that as a wife I couldn’t stop it and I couldn’t help you see and feel the pain you were causing–the fact that I couldn’t change it.
Exodus 14: 14 says this, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
We read this and carry the confidence that our God fights our battles and our injustices. However, we are left with the question, “Who does He fight for when both sides are all his children?” My heart knows that He fights for all of us, and that will always sting. Though our faith reminds us that we are all unclean sinners and undeserving of God’s grace, our humanity feels every ounce of betrayal and hurt when the wrongdoing is done by those who claim to love the same God.
To the church leaders who threw him away—you go home and hug your spouse and kids at night, but you took that away from me and away from my children. More importantly you took away grace that was freely given from Christ’s sacrifice that should have been lived out by you. He died so that we didn’t have to live in shame. You didn’t practice what you preach and that will linger in my home for a lifetime. I’m thankful that you are human and I can process the gospel and your actions through that lens. Yet, at the end of the day, you weren’t the gospel. Jesus was…and is.
Therefore, I will continue believing that the Lord will fight for us and that we will see justice, but that we also might be able to offer forgiveness. The local church will always be the lighthouse for this world. It will be a place I take my children to find friends and learn about Jesus, and it will be a place of community and healing. Seeing humans in church leadership and humans within the body of Christ who don’t act like Christ, should remind us that our hope ought never be in people, but in the foundational promises of our Redeemer and our Restorer, the Lord who fights for us.
You can read more of Krissie’s blogs at www.krissiejoy.com.
I pray our churches will become more like Christ!