In church, you walk through the doors with fear that you may not fit in, may not add up, may not blend in with the crowd.
In AA, you walk through the doors knowing you're in need of help, knowing you are in a state of total desperation, knowing you don't give a hoot what people think because they are just. like. you.
In church, you struggle with knowing what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Some things just might be too inappropriate.
In AA, you really don't give a crap how it sounds because, well, it's where you are right now and where you've been and you need people to hear it. You're fed up with secrets and know there's no other way to healing.
In church, you worry about what to wear, what she's wearing and if it's appropriate enough for this new group.
In AA, you could walk in with torn jeans, a dirty, old t-shirt, a scruffy beard, dirty nails and smelling of smoke. Maybe even weed. But hey, it's nothing compared to how bad you feel on the inside.
In church, you worry you won't be good enough. In AA, you already know you're not. In church, you fear that you're beyond saving, far worse than anyone around you. In AA, you already know you're worse. In church, there are insecurities, fears, and worries about who you are, how you'll fit in, if you'll agree with it all, and if you have what it takes to be saved and believe. In AA, your insecurities and fears and worries still exist, but rather, they are met here. They are met by people just like you, struggling with the same things, and totally and 100% honest with those things.
In AA you are greeted and welcomed with the open arms of other people in the same lousy boat as you are. You are met where you are by other people who have been, were already there and accept all of your BS excuses, worries, and fears. In AA you know who you are--a sinner--and you come to a place where you're meeting with other sinners, seeking a whole lotta help. And that help becomes and is Jesus.
Of course, these are all some broad generalizations. I've never had to walk into an AA meeting or building, I just know people that have. I have, however, walked into a church and found people who were struggling, too, and met me where I was, and walked with me through the junk. But, in the midst of deaths, tragedies, hurts and heartaches, I'm noticing that the view of church--as a generalization--is that they are filled with people who judge, throw stones and criticize.
Come on now, people. When Jesus walked this earth, how many times did he sit in a church pew and sing hymns, memorize verses, look the right way, talk to the right people, associate with only the rich, look the other way at distress and conflict, and on and on?
Or how many times did Jesus walk with the most broken and the dirtiest? In fact, if Jesus were walkin' around today, do you think he'd go into the church and praise their good deeds, or would he walk into the AA building with the smokers and drinkers, cussers and losers, in the midst of their pain in addiction or in the loss of a friend, to tell them that they are loved? I’m sure he’d have a good message for both groups, but I bet his heart would ache and rest with those who actually recognize their need for him.
To those of you who don't feel good enough, to those of you who are "different" from the rest, you are not; you are just like everyone on the planet, in search of love and kindness. To the people who just can't believe because of the hypocrisy you've seen, push aside the people and the politics and search your heart instead. There is a God who is seeking that heart, too, and He'll meet you there. To the democrats and republicans, to the straight and to the gay, to the perfect and the imperfect, to the believers and the non-believers, to the right and to the left, to the whole and the broken, who cares? Jesus didn't. Jesus doesn't. You're a child of God, in every place, in every day you are a child of God. And you are loved, held, safe, wanted.
It's time that we quit judging others, holding some to standards and rejecting others, and believing that we have the power to say who is good and who is bad, who is right and who is wrong. It's time to discover that we are each powerfully, wholly, completely and unconditionally loved. I think you'll find that that is all you're really wanting anyway, right?
The Most Important Command34-36When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: "Teacher, which command in God's Law is the most important?"
37-40Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."
“Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.”
― John Lennon