Thursday, April 19, 2007

Totally Outraged

My grandmother, who is 91 years old, had some sort of stroke behind her eyes about two years ago and has completely lost her sight. Despite that, and a few other health problems, she has maintained her sense of humor and her sense of purpose. For the past several years, she has operated her church's "Clothes Closet" for the poor. It has allowed her to be active and gives her a place of ministry, since she can no longer see to teach Sunday School. It has given her an outlet for her to love God by loving others. I am very proud of my grandmother.

A couple of weeks ago, a deacon of her church came and told her that they were 'shutting down the clothes closet'. My grandmother asked why (of course) and she was told this: "We don't want all that riff-raff coming in and out of our church each week!" My grandmother was outraged! But the deacon was bull headed and wouldn't give in. (he has been the ram-rod around there for a long time and wasn't going to back down).

My grandmother was crushed. Her ministry outlet was gone. Her last "purpose" was gone (according to her). She has endured bullies before and usually came out on top. But this time, it was different. She said she just didn't have the strength to fight for it. I think she is depressed about the fact that she "gave in". She told my sister that now, all she has is simply to wait for the Lord to take her home." She said "I can't see to teach, I can't see to drive people to the doctor; I'm no longer strong enough to go out on visitation; I am simply useless". (I wasn't there at the time; my sister told me about it later)

It broke my heart to hear her talk like that. Please pray for her to be encouraged (and for sight). We call her "Meme".

I am going to be preaching in that church on Mother's Day. I really need your prayers to control what I say from the pulpit and not use it for my own (very heated) opinions. Pray that I would glorify the Father in what I say. Anybody got any ideas about what to say?

6 comments:

GuyMuse said...

I am upset too! What kind of Christianity is that? Even thinking of people that Christ died for as riff-raff...

I'm glad it's you preaching in that church and not me. I have a little bit of "prophet" in me (see my latest blog post) and would love to give a clear word of the Lord to that church! :)

Maybe the "Good Samaritan" from Luke 10, or the passage from Matt.25 where Christ separates the sheep from the goats.

Give your meme a big hug for us from her M bro. down in Ecuador!

S.A.M. said...

Nomad, I heard of a church in my homestate that actually asked a man, who had tatoos and wore blue-jeans to the service, not to come back because: they don't dress like that here. Incredible how many Pharisees there are in churches nowadays. This man was obviously searching for something, thought he found it, and was turned away because of how he looked. He has since gone to another church, thankfully, and has changed his life. We'll pray for your grandmother that the Lord will encourage her and strengthen her and lead her to some service for Him. Sounds like a really neat lady.
SAM

Matthew said...

Well, perhaps the Lord has a more blessed church for your grandmother to go to. Of course, is it the church or the 'bull head'? And, the encouragement I would give to her is, "I have never really been successful or used well in anything except prayer..."

Strider said...

Hope that you spoke graciously and prophetically. I am sure I couldn't have spoken graciously. I probably would have been talking about lampstands being removed...
Well, I trust you are wiser than I.
How did it go?

Kevin Bussey said...

Unfortunately that is very common now in the States. I'm sorry and I hate it too.

Nomad said...

Guy,

Thanks for your suggestions. I might just go with those.

S.A.M.

Thanks for your words. You're right; my grandma is a neat lady!

Matthew,

Her church is full of pretty good people. I recently spoke with pastor again, and he said he thinks he has convinced the trouble maker that he needs to move on. We'll see.
Strider,

I won't be speaking until Mother's Day. I am still praying about it and what to say. The lampstand removal is a pretty good idea, actually.

Kevin,

I am saddened to hear that it is common. May God have mercy on us all.