It was the 6th day of a week long water-only fast and I hadn't heard anything from God. The fast seemed useless, so I ate a small meal. Just a soda cracker, but even with the first bite a small voice rose up from inside saying, "No! God has something for you! Don't quit."
On the 7th day, I opened my Bible to Ezekiel 34 and dropped to my knees, in awe. I felt validated, found, seen, heard, and most of all… rescued. After years of hearing the "grace" message spoken by church leaders ignorant of domestic violence – the message that says, "Forgive 77 x 7" and "Divorce is not an option" – I felt the heart beat of God in these verses.
God, at the very core of his being, longs to rescue us! You may feel invisible, suffering silently right in front of Christians you may have known for years. And no one sees the pain in your eyes!
There are so many of us suffering silently behind our smiles. Sometimes you never know who they are, but if you get in close. If you simply seek to serve with an encouraging word or a hug… or more… your act of kindness may be the lifeline that saves a life.
In my inbox this morning I read this word from Marsha Burns, a woman whose prophetic words have been like daily manna to me for over a decade:
"It is My desire for you to edify, to build one another up. There is a myriad of ways you can do that, but you must give from a genuine desire to help and not from wanting to feel better about yourself. Some of you may be able to give financial aid while others may encourage with kindness or help with tasks. Take a step in the right direction by truly caring for your fellow man, says the Lord, and I will reward you in kind."
All of life is sacred. Each and every person is a part of God's heart. God's heart is angered at the oppression church leaders, the indifference, the apathy, and the outright evil that is called acceptable and good – right in our very midst!
God wants to plunge right into the places we have deemed "sinful" and "dirty". He desires to touch the untouchables. Even the sheep have been bullying each other, shunning and outcasting the weak.
My heart burns for those who are outcast, even those who are suffering silently on our church pews. The mission field is amongst us! We don't have to go to a third world country to serve the poor. I know it's been said a thousand times over, that as soon as we exit the church doors we are on the mission field. But the fact is, the lost are lost… they need us to SEE and HEAR them, but we don't… because we haven't been trained to recognize the signs of sociopathic abuse within the religious system.
I am one of them. I was once lost right in the midst of active ministry. I receive emails nearly every day from survivors of sociopathic abuse who suffer extreme spiritual violence INSIDE of our churches! The mission field is no longer when we exit the church doors, my friend – the mission field is amongst us.
I believe this picture, these words, are revealing the core of God's heart, and with this in mind, I want to share Rachel Held Evan's video below. This message opens up the realm of Heaven and changes our circumstances, by giving us a new perspective.
What would Jesus look like today, in my skin? In your skin?
Is this a question I can ask myself every day? Is it a question that will never cease stirring my heart, as that 7th day of my fast when Ezekiel 34 ripped open my heart?
Let's awaken the dawn, by living Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount. This is the company of people I saw when I wrote yesterday's story… these are the people who are walking together on the narrow path that leads to life. We're not alone. It's a hard journey, bloody, and full of persecution by those going in the opposite direction. But I believe it's coming to pass… we are learing to Live the 13th!
Let's be God with skin.
With all my love,
Copyright © 2010 to 2015 Team Family Online, All rights reserved. For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller.