When my kids first heard about the church fire they had their own unique ways of processing it. While I tried to breathe, my kids were having their own concerns My older boys were concerned about their papers they had created for my church office wall. I had recently taken a picture of the hand print from my oldest when he was about 2 that was on my wall. I never found that. My oldest son, who is 8 years old, was concerned people would not have Bibles to read on Sunday.
My 3-year-old immediately asked about his friend. He was the most level-headed of us all. The material didn’t matter, but the people sure did.
Over the course of time my 3-year-old son has asked about our church. At first he said that our church was “fired.” Then he started referring to it as our “broken church.” At first I thought this was cute, but I think he is on to something.
If you have been to the church you know that it is clearly a broken church building. There is not much there other than rubble. If you have been with the people of the church you know that there is a level of brokenness we are all experiencing. But, isn’t that actually a good thing?
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” – Psalm 51:17
As we meet to discuss how we now go about our daily church life, we are broken before God. We wonder what God is saying in the midst of it all. We wonder what God is doing in our community as a result. We wonder what the future holds. All of these things lead us to a place of brokenness before the Lord. What makes it better is that God is the healer. In our brokenness He comes and picks up the pieces and sorts them out. I know my prayer has been that God would direct us and that we would get out of the way. Everything in me just wants to get back to daily, normal living. Yet, that has not been easy to do. There are new realities at play here, and we are adapting.
My son is still trying to figure it out, as we all are. He keeps asking about our broken church and where my office went. As I think about this, though, I actually think a broken church is a church God can use. A broken church is a church where people have their eyes, ears, and hearts tuned in to what God is doing. So, we are ready Lord. What do you have for us? What do you want to say to us? What do you want us to re-think? As one person put it while standing next to the ruins of the church, “well, Lord, you have my attention now.” All eyes are on us, which hopefully points more eyes to Jesus Christ.