We in the church are quick to tell people to repent of their sin without really understanding the fullness of what we are telling them to walk away from. That sin may be the only comfort they know. The people they sin with may be the only people they feel accepted by. The question in the heart of someone who is considering leaving the comfort and familiarity of their sin behind is, “Will the church really be there for me when I truly need them?” I hope the answer to that question is a resounding, “YES!” backed up by a life of pouring out to those in need.
In his 2008 article, “The Transsexual Dilemma”, author Joe Dallas quoted the heart of a transgender man sitting in his office looking for help. That precious soul’s question pierced my heart: “You’ve got some pretty clear answers, Joe. But tell me honestly: if I go home and break up with my girlfriend, then put on a skirt and try to live as a woman, leaving behind everything about my life as I know it, will the church be there for me? Will they welcome me, even though I’ll look like a man wearing a dress? Can I be honest with fellow Christians about the surgery I had? Will I really be a sister in Christ, or will I be the resident freak?”
This is the heart of a desperate person looking for help. He or she may be an addict, a prostitute, or a member of the LGBTQ community. The next time you may be tempted to look upon someone like that with contempt, ask yourself these questions: “If I tell that person to repent and they actually do, am I willing to make the sacrifices necessary to really be there for him or her? Am I willing to be inconvenienced to help him or her find true comfort and salvation through Christ? Or am I just feeling self-righteous and condemning without being willing to be a part of the answer? I hope my answers to the first two questions are “yes”. I hope my answer to the third question is “no”.
I pray that the Lord works in my heart and makes that burden become a full reality.
Photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via www.unsplash.com.