Dear Tom (and the crickets)

Judging by the lack of hits measured on the counter for this blog this year, it appears you are just about the last and only (not quite) person reading here.  And since this is such a lonely place to offer public words, I figure it is a secure place to share private shameful things.  No one will see it.

As long as I am dealing in such matters, I think I will just say that I sense strongly that I am being punished for sticking with Jesus.  I looked up in God’s Word how to behave as his people and saw where the church I belong to is betraying his directives.  So I spoke up about it to them, and in return they claimed I was being “unloving”.

Yes, I confronted church leaders with God’s Word on our misdeeds, and rather than repent OR, alternatively, show me (from God’s Word, or otherwise even) how I was mistaken about these things, they came around to tell me I was “unloving”.  So I showed them again from God’s Word the misdeeds we engage in and promote, and now I am shunned.

It is lonely standing here with Jesus.

I write about it, publish these writings (protecting the identities of the guilty while I am at it), and it’s just you, me, and the crickets out here…. or so it seems.

(You are getting this… right?)

(I mean, if you don’t read this, then…  Wow!)

So, anyway, this may come off as a pity party.  Maybe it is.  I don’t really think so, I am not overly invested in defending against that… so if you want to argue it is, then I will just surrender the point.

But I will say this:

There is a price to be paid following Jesus.  A cost of discipleship.  And I tell you it hurts.  It sucks that my brothers and sisters don’t talk to me anymore.  It hurts that they all just run off and back out on me without a word.  Loneliness hurts.

The American Church isn’t much interested in paying a price – except for the entrance fee… maybe a tithe or purchase of a book, a club membership, and what not…  Oh, and get your prayer shawl, your blessed Holy Water, and your handsome, leather-bound Purpose Driven Journal or your Left Behind family board game.  But wait, there’s more!  Be sure to act now and receive this complimentary latte at our coffee bar!  Yet losing all your friends, or worse actually getting crucified… things like that, hold no interest nor do they show up on the radar.

(That part sounds like a pity party. (Psalm 88 anyone???))

However, Tom, for your eyes only (and for any lonely freak out there still reading (yeah, if you are still reading, you are a freak)), you have the pleasure to witness God move through THIS dead and scorned ministry.  This ministry with barely any followers or readers or contributors…  This ministry with nary a pulse… This ministry with practically no budget or reputation to speak of – unless you count the regard it’s held in by leadership in the American church as represented in Lubbock, Texas.

Yeah… IF you are still reading, and IF you care at all, then you are in a very good place to witness God move in the dead.

And THAT, I think, is right at the core of Matthew’s, Mark’s, Luke’s, and John’s Gospel accounts.  THAT is not a pity party.  (Psalm 88 in light of the Gospel… anyone???)

 

10 comments

  1. Agent X · July 30, 2019

    Keep in mind…

    If you “LIKE” this post, you are telling Tom and me and a few crickets that you are a freak.

    “Like” at your own risk!

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. T. F. Thompson · July 30, 2019

    Reblogged this on Hard Times Ministries and commented:
    A vacancy exists among bloggers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. T. F. Thompson · July 30, 2019

    Seems like no one is around except us crickets.What can I say? There will be a few that trickle in. Just way and see. And then again, maybe not.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agent X · August 3, 2019

      On another note, Tom, one related, but only in a distant roundabout way, at the moment I was publishing this post, I received a call for help from one of my street friends – one who has been very helpful to this ministry in years gone by. She needed a place to stay for the night and/or some money to help her get into a cheap flea-bag place she found.

      I immediately wanted to help, but I have very little to offer. I reached out to 2 people I know will care, but they were two people I anticipated would also find obstacles in helping – except to encourage me and to pray. Actually, the one I figured really MIGHT chip in SOME finance, but I figured it would be short of the goal.

      I reached out and left messages both places. Then waited in prayer.

      It felt futile as all get out. I can’t get into a tit-for-tat arrangement with others. Sometimes I can afford to help and other times I cannot. It’s a hit and miss thing with me. But I only had these two people I felt sure I could count on.

      And just about that time I started really feeling the twinge of pain and loneliness regarding my church. I actually know a LOT of people who COULD REALLY HELP a LOT!!! I know some of them very well. In fact, I could count more than a dozen off the top of my head very quickly. But …

      BUT…

      But they are all from the church(es) that shun me. That shun me for seeking THIS KIND of help in the first place.

      Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers, Engineers, Professors etc… professional people who live in fine homes, drive fine cars and worship Jesus every Sunday like as if Jesus matters. I have phone numbers, email addresses, relationships etc with such. But I had not reached out to any of them because I am shunned.

      And then it hit me.

      Why am I being the choke point here. Who knows? I mean it’s not likely, of course, but maybe someone has had a change of heart. Maybe someone has repented and will open up to my request. I might miss out on that because I was choking off the possibility of this kindness.

      So I then sent out a group email to 7. A nice holy number if ever there was one. Seven representing so very many others who could (if they so choose) circulate this request among many more.

      At bed time that night. I got one response from one of these friends. He is THE ONLY one who has not joined the shunning bandwagon, but he is one I have never been terribly close with before either. It was way late by that point to start offering help, but he said he had not checked email until late and that is why. However, if the need was still unmet and IF he could still assist, he would give $100 to the cause!

      Wow!!!

      I know $100 is a sacrifice – a significant sacrifice – from ANYONE, but I feel sure it would be reachable by every person I reached out to via that email.

      In the end, it turns out my friend did get her emergency need settled, and managed to do it with less than $50. I did not actually ever collect on this offer which was made. But here it is four days later, and that is the ONLY one to even respond to the email at all.

      As I said, I am shunned.

      Now, I almost could say that my friend in need was being punished too because of me. But that would not actually be accurate. I was being shunned BECAUSE I ask for this kind of thing to begin with. You see my church actually holds a class every year designed to talk you out of helping the needy like this. Helluva thing for a church to teach. You don’t find it taught by Jesus or any of the apostles (quite the opposite actually). So really she isn’t being ignored on account my me, she is being ignored in spite of me.

      Oh… and this is not unique to the church where I currently belong. I have faced this exact nonsense at 3 other churches before this one. It’s a THANG… like a virus going round infecting the American church all over this city and any place When Helping Hurts is sold.

      Like

  4. wildernessjoy · July 31, 2019

    “The American Church” is made up of many many diverse people who struggle with life just as you do. They love Jesus, they are all broken vessels just as you and I are, and that is the reason we come to Jesus.We know we need help. We can’t do it on our own. Please don’t judge all your brothers and sisters by the few who have let you down. BTW Jesus only had 12 followers at the beginning and people are still impacted by His “posts”

    Like

    • T. F. Thompson · August 1, 2019

      Actually you’d have to count the 70 that were also his followers and I’m sure their were more than that at the time. Besides the whole idea of the church which is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God involves the institution of the church. It is with these numbers that we assess our power and move from exercise to exercise. And even thou as individuals we might be weak…through the church and collectively we gain our strength: In fact, “in weakness…we find His strength.” I don’t think it could be any more clear than that. Thank you for your words. I’ll reflect on them and add those to my arsenal. I appreciate it and hope you continue to engage yourself with the topic. Insight from all sides is always good.

      Like

    • Agent X · August 3, 2019

      I have given much thought to this comment before responding, and I must say that I am probably confused by it. I started to respond one way and then rethought it and started to go another way. Then I realized that the concern I went into this post with has very little to do with this comment. I figured I would come off as throwing a pity party. No one seems concerned about that except me.

      I could say all manner of things to this comment, but I figure most of it would be missing your point.

      However, I will say this:

      I see you making plea to NOT judge ALL my brothers and sisters by the FEW who have let me down.

      That seems to be the point. Seems to be.

      To that I respond. Okay. I wont.

      Thanx for reading and commenting.

      Like

  5. laceduplutheran · August 1, 2019

    You are not alone.

    Like

  6. Debi · August 8, 2019

    I already knew I was a freak, and I’m ok with that. 🙂

    Anyway, as for being alone or shunned, I refer you back to the previous 2 or 3 of your posts to which I recently (within the last hour) responded (in full or in part) with ♥.

    You are indeed not alone. Not here, and mostly not out *there* where you “go to the place of shame, pain, and despair and bear the image of God.”

    Peace, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · August 8, 2019

      Thanx Debi!

      So glad to have you

      Yeah, I thought I was throwing a pity party.

      Actually, I need a bit of encouragement, from time to time. This blog and ministry has been in some raw places recently. I cant talk about my foster kids much, not in ways that breach confidentiality. But there are some very hard things going on there too, recently.

      But with the blog… What can I say?

      Last Christmas, I had issues with my computer and had to go in hiatus that lasted until April. I actually got used to NOT blogging by the time I replaced that computer. Four whole months with NO production slowed the interest here considerably and understandably.

      But then I came back, and there is no bounce back with it. None. In fact, to be honest, there is a pulse, but it is irregular and weak. Very weak.

      This always was a small blog. I am okay with that, but I do long for richer interaction with at least a few and especially desire to impact my local scene. But even at my strongest, I was only getting 6000 hits a year. This year I have yet to reach even 1000, and we are nearly halfway through August.

      Seeing your comments helps. You are one of the people I really appreciate for visiting here. I have a small handful of others too, but most of them are not visiting anymore – or so it seems.

      I really don’t want to publish for myself alone, and it is good to get a little bit of feedback to encourage more.

      ThanX! Thanx for visiting and leaving an encouraging word.

      It means a lot!

      X

      Like

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