Tonight I ate cake. Not just any cake—my favorite cake: Triple Chocolate Cake from a little café on the west side of Colorado Springs called Marigold’s. This isn’t just some Duncan Hines, run of the mill chocolate cake, people. It consists of layers of delicious dark AND milk chocolate moose-like creams, white whipped goodness, and some sort of heavenly chocolate cake. Then it is coated in chocolate and topped with extravagant amounts of grated white chocolate. It is divine. Like, so so so good. The only problem: I was sharing the slice with my dear husband. AND not only was it NOT all mine, he was feeding me occasional bites with a fork. I know some of you are like “how sweet.” No. Nope. Maybe he thought so too, but no. Give me cake. I felt an orphan spirit trying to reattach to the depths of my soul as I sat and waited for him to kindly and delicately give me my average-sized bite. *sigh*
I joke with my cake story, but life is so full of moments like these. There are these chances to “share” life with people, and sometimes it feels like there is only one piece of cake. Often times it would be so much easier and feel better to just do it myself. After all, you might be really different than me. I may not “get” you. Or you may want the space/ role/job that I want. Maybe you are really immature, contentious, or boring. We want to be served by someone or serve someone, but to try to get something done *with* you. No thanks. I can get much more done much quicker without your input. Right? But, maybe it’s not about what we are getting done? Maybe it’s all about the process. Sure, we’ve heard that, and that’s an easy (ish?) principle to consider when thinking about making cookies with the kids, but when it comes to the Bride of Christ… it’s tricky and messy and hard.
Could it be that the body as a whole is focusing too much on our accomplishments, our giftings, or our knowledge and neglecting our connection with each other? Maybe God wants to use the relationships around us to create an amazing dynamic as a variety of seasons are embraced and felt, a variety of giftings are highlighted, and as the Holy Spirit celebrates every life-stage and personality of his born again children, and as we honor Jesus together..
I love the church, and I long to see her honoring each part. Fixing our eyes on Jesus and seeing each member through the redemptive work of the cross is the only way unity is possible within the Bride of Christ. At present, the church looks like she has multiple personalities. When the world looks they see Presbyterians over here, Pentecostals over there, and everything in the middle. We have all segregated ourselves as we (dare I say) bow to our doctrines and ideas. Doctrine and ideas are important, but I I cannot help but believe that we have to be willing to genuinely love past them and through them, and that without doing so the church is greatly affect. I believe that it is the church’s struggle with unity that has lead to the segregation and racism issues in the world.
I want to chose to see others through the lens of Jesus no matter where they are in the (sometimes difficult) process of “working out their salvation.” I want to pray for those in authority and not use my freedom by criticizing and tearing down. I want to be an instrument of unity in such a way that I will cross the borders of churches and inject honor and love to those who see differently (and maybe even incorrectly *gasp) because they still. love. Jesus. Jesus. He’s simply the only thing that has to matter.
Consider praying this prayer with me:
Lord, you and you alone are King of my heart. Help me to see others through the work you did for them on the cross. Forgive me for seeing others without fully honoring the treasure that they are in You. Help me see others the way you do. I refuse to partner with fear and pride any longer. Amen.
And if you feel like sharing cake is hard :P, and life is lived much better when you are away from believers, consider this prayer.
Lord, I’ve been walking as an orphan long enough. Would you help me heal me so that I can join the body the way you designed me to. I repent for believing the lie that I don’t need them and they don’t need me. Forgive me, and lead me to truth. Amen.