It’s now been a year since leadership where I church went silent on me. The cold shoulder, the cruel indifference, the stonewall has been intact now almost solidly for a year.
Just one strange little curious interruption, one little chink in the wall: A couple of months ago, one of the elders there phoned me out of the blue to ask what I need.
What did I need?
That almost sounds like he cared. I was stunned. It just so happens that I had sent an email to the secretary office just three days prior requesting help, alright. I had four toddlers at my house, all having come to me via foster care, and we were overwhelmed. I was looking for ANYBODY, any warm body, able to hold, rock, play with a toddler – even if only for an hour, and I was hoping against hope that I just might get a response to that email when this brother phoned me to ask what I needed.
So I reiterated for him all that I had put in my request, thinking he had been notified by the secretary’s office about it. As I launched into my request, it became clear that he had not, in fact, been notified at all.
The timing of his call made this confusing to me. But he seemed interested in my request all the same, and said he would “look into it” for me.
“Look into it”? That too was a strange response.
In the two months since that call, I have not heard back from ANYBODY regarding my request or his inquiry about my needs. And except for his call, I have not heard from ANYBODY at church about ANYTHING. In fact, the small group that used to meet at my house just up and vanished without so much as a word to me or my wife. No doubt they circulated the word among the others in the group, because NONE of them accidentally showed up here looking for the meetings.
I looked again at some of the old email exchanges I had with leadership there about opening our church door to the homeless last night, and sure enough, it’s been more than a year since we talked. And the answer they gave me in no uncertain terms was that our church would NOT open the door to the homeless, and that there would NOT be any negotiations on the issue at all. They were quite firm about this. And then they put up a stonewall against me, breached only ever so slightly by the enigmatic call to see what I need a year later.
The “body of Christ”.
That’s what they call themselves. That’s what I always called them too.
And this is my relationship with them.