Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. Psalm 51:16-17 The Message
I asked God to give me a “sign.” My prayer had been simple; even a little desperate. I said, “God, I don’t know what I am asking You for, I just know I need something.”
I went to bed and tried to get through another night of fitful tossing and turning.
The next day an email arrived that was unexpected.
Lana Vawser had already sent her weekly post, so what was this one all about?
I opened, and started to read.
I didn’t get far before the deep sobs erupted from my soul with so much force, I was gasping for breath every few lines. With tears flooding down my face, I kept whispering, “Holy Spirit, only You could have revealed so much. How else could she know all of this?”
A Context Called: Broken
Lana began with the concept of context, but it quickly became apparent where she was headed. She was speaking to the Misfits and Outcasts of the Church.
(I call them, Throwaways.)
Those ones God cherishes with all His heart.
And, I have a dream for the Broken. It wasn’t my idea. About forty some years ago, I woke up one sunny spring morning to the sound of “Someone” speaking clearly, “You will call it Broken Vessels Recovery Project.”
I sat straight up in bed, and said to my empty room, “What is that?”
I got no answer that day–just a tranquil peace in my heart.
Called To This
I have not been called to this. The easy chair. (Or, the easy crowd.) Though I confess? There are days I wish I were.
Simply put, God has called me to the Prodigal-Church.
You know, the ones referred to as:
- The Messy-misfits.
- The Raucous-runaways.
- The Wrecked and Wounded.
The “ones” who have heard it all before and just ain’t listening anymore.
These are the “ones” who are severely bruised, deeply disappointed and maybe even pissed off at God, The Church, or all of the above.
Nope, not an easy crowd.
But, you know what else? God passionately loves these that many folks just privately hope will “go away” leaving us in ‘The Good Church’ to our sleepy tranquility.
I know, because I was one of these prodigals.
And truth be told?
Sometimes I still am, A ticked-off Christ follower, that is—not a prodigal.
And, sometimes, I do still get angry–because many of these folks have been brutally beat-up good-n’-proper.
Perhaps they “once upon a time” believed.
Now, they ain’t havin’ anything to do with it!
They have hit the dusty trail, and now have turtle-shells, thick-n’-crusty, around once trusting hearts. Yet… they are STILL HIS. And perhaps, are MORE WANTED than they were in the beginning, before it all went wrong in their lives.
Make no mistake about it—He still calls them BELOVED, and He longs for them to come home to Him–these Saints sometimes considered rabble-rousers and futile-flotsam, He calls with infinite tenderness, “My Beloved.
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.Jeremiah 31:3 KJV
God still asks, “Are you ready for love?”
I believe this because—I was one of them when He came after me.
He asked me a question that day. “When will you trust Me?”
(It took me a long time.)
I was definitely a messy-misfit.
(And I do understand how “The Church” feels.)
I fondly remember my days in the Church, serving easy crowds and occupying easy chairs. (Yeah, I confess.) All gone now, and it’s okay–because I believe someone needs to reach Wounded Sheep–all those Prickly-Prodigals with crusty shells around hearts that have stopped believing in anyone calling themselves a: Christian. Those who are walking away from our churches—taking the back door, out.
Yep, they’re my assignment. My mission. My project.
Broken Vessels Recovery Project
(To be more exact.)
- Some in The Church say they are MIA.
- Some know they are AWOL.
But, whatever “they“ might believe?
- They are His.
- They are loved.
- His very own deeply cherished Beloved.
(And, wounded, or wrecked—He wants them back! )
So, I’m asking every runaway; every prodigal son, or daughter,
“Are you finally ready for His love?”
You may doubt it today.
But, YOU were born for such a time as this.