Thursday, January 27, 2011

Church Found!

After much searching we have found a church to call home. During our search for a place to worship, I grew discouraged that the Church as Jesus intended, is disappearing. Our home church in San Luis Obispo was a church that sought Gods heart even when it was difficult, had a Godly passion for justice, for the Word of God, and for healing in God's people. This church was growing and had some beautiful visions for where they were moving in the future. We were very sad to leave it.

I believed that finding a church in San Francisco would be easy. After all, there are so many social justice happenings in San Francisco I assumed that God's people would be doing God's work. There is such a diversity of people, that I assumed the Church would reflect that. It turns out that Christians, even with suffering and poverty surrounding them, are still able to be cliquish, self centered, rich, pious, and segregated. The brutal reality is that the church is in full of broken people who do not want to be broken, even in a city where brokenness is all around. I fell into the trap that once we left the idyllic San Luis Obispo, Christians would be more aware of the marginalized, because they would walk past the marginalized every day. It is not so. Christians here, just like in San Luis Obispo, can choose to ignore the call to truly follow Jesus. And then it hits me. So can I. Although I am pursuing a degree in social justice and equity, I had left my Savior out of the redemption process. I relied on social justice theorist to teach me how to bring justice. I had forgotten that Jesus had already shown me how. I had forgotten that he is the only reason I am even here.

While struggling with my ability to betray Jesus every day by claiming to be my own savior and struggling with the hypocrisy of Christians, God brought a miracle into our lives.

We were down to two other churches that were very different and had things we liked and didn't like. We were struggling with were God wanted us, because we weren't feeling very called to either. After Danny found Lighthouse Church on Yelp and suggested we go. The service we went to in late November touched me in a profound way. Jesus reached down to me and comforted my lonely, broken, and bruised heart. All that I had been struggling with before moving to San Francisco and since living here, seemed a lot less heavy and overwhelming. Jesus reminded me that he had the answers and I could just relax and be with him. I felt so free to love my Jesus again.

I knew that this was the place for me. It had been the only place that I had met with Jesus in the city.

We continued going for a couple of weeks around the holidays. We attended a small group which they call Beloved Communities. We have been included in bbqs and softball games. Just last week Danny asked if we were ready to start giving our tithe to this church. I looked at him and said, "I think so. I think this is our new home."

I feel like Peter...I followed Jesus out onto the water (San Francisco and seeking justice in the education system) fully believing in him and his ability to have authority over darkness. However, at some point I became too centered on worldly justice, too disappointed in my fellow Christians, and too overwhelmed by the enormity of suffering that happens in the 46.7 square miles of the city. But God, in his merciful love, reached down and pulls me out. He didn't let me drown. He asks why I ever doubted him. He assures me he had a place for us all along. A place where I can wrestle with these issues social justice and Christians with other like minded people. A place where I can cry. A place where he will give me healing. I just needed to be reminded, as a good friend told me, Jesus is the only one who brings true justice in the world and in my life.

So, we have found a home to be ourselves, to be broken, to seek Jesus, to love the city, and friends to do life together.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

As I walked home tonight from my local market carrying my locally grown and sold produce, I saw the ocean reflecting pink puffy sky.

As I walked home tonight in my new toms from my adoring husband, I saw people hurrying home and wondered if they will be greeted by someone they love.

As I walked home tonight, past the Thai ice tea place, the pizza joint, the french bakery, the library, Walgreens, and the Chinese restaurant that has become "our" place, I am filled with love for my home.

As I walked home I realized that I am ready to let this love for Taraval St. overflow to my neighbors. It has been a year and half since I returned from my summer in Fresno and I am once again ready to ask: What does it look like to love my neighbor?