Hey again :)
Hello local church. Hello post civil rights movement black church. Hello church "culture" mostly independent from the Kingdom. You have no idea how much I hated and loved you. Why you ask? That my friend, is a great question. Well, for as long as I could remember all I wanted was to give you all my talents, gifts and abilities, you know, like you told me to do. For as long as I could remember I wanted to fit in with you. I wanted to be like you, be liked by you and be known and accepted by you. I didn't care much for your limited options of expression and strong hatred for dialogue that was hard...... but I accepted that, like a marriage. Taking the good with the bad and if I worked hard enough you would find a place for me. But that wasn't true was it? Turns out, you didn't have a place for me. You didn't know what to do with me. Unfortunately, you did what I seen you do best, you rejected me. You ignored me and invested into people that didn't love you nearly as much as I did. I can honestly say, that, among a few other happenings, is where my wandering began. I got really really good at being a vagabond too (look it up :) ) I became a master of not trusting, wearing a mask, and avoiding intimate relationships. I can kinda say you taught me how to do that well. Services without authentic relationships, provide the service and avoid the close relationship. See, during my wandering I thought I was escaping you but little did I know, I took you with me. (I promise I'm not bashing you keep reading lol). Every institution I entered I replicated what I saw you do. I hated you for it but then somehow, I hated me for it too. So I continued wandering. I wandered into different versions of you all promising they weren't like you. They were. Just in their own unique way. I wandered in to the work place and even academia and seen more of you there. I wandered to the hood and you were there also. I wandered into business and seen traces of you, although much more savvy and structured, it still looked like you. Your own priorities, extending me the same misunderstandings. Saying you were there to cultivate me and assist when really, you wanted me there for you, your plans, even if achieved at my expense and detriment. Ouch! As I continued to wander, I read, exchanged ideas, suffered setbacks, hurt, cried, coped. But one day, something happened. I realized mostly the same concepts and ideals you were trying to represent I was as well. As I looked over your heads I seen the God we were supposed to be looking to I seen I was in the same need as you. I was a fallible human being trying to figure things out, much like you. I had gone astray as many times as you have and I am no better than you. At this point I truly realize we have all fallen short and are in need of the same grace we refuse to extend. Does it mean you don't have problems, no. it just means I realize now I do too. And even though you misunderstood me because I didn't fit in, I misunderstood you as well. Instead of seeing you were doing your best in your broken understanding to represent God I saw you as God. It turns out Gods acceptance didn't mean nearly as much to me as yours. I didn't realize that the time I spent with you being focused on performing was really supposed to be preparation. And it turns out it was. As I wandered I learned my face was being turned away from how I wanted to be served and turned toward who I was called to serve. I wasn't a part of the gang because I wasn't supposed to be. Now we are trying to learn together on how to BECOME! In every workplace, in every relationship. I know now your local places of relationship and connection are also supposed to be places to equip every kind of person that enters it and you must be prepared to do that. And now, I am able to forgive you and still desperately love you and want to work with you, albeit no longer exclusively. I am able to see I am as broken and as fallible as you are; as we all are. In work, I learned more about structure and teams, leadership and patience. In the hood, camaraderie and the value of learning the language of any setting. with friends, the ability to appreciate and work through differences while showing grace. Not the grace that I can muster up but the grace that I received and continue to receive. It is given to me, to give to you so you can pass it on. At every stop of my journey thus far I have picked up something that won't be forgotten easily. I am thankful for you and what you HAVE GIVEN ME. Sometimes, I am frustrated with you still but I am frustrated with myself sometimes too. I guess you could say we have much more in common than I originally thought. After the many journey's of a battle wearied solider, one thing I have learned stands out above most else. it was all apart of the plan. you, me, us. Hurt, pain, setback, trial, failure were all characters to push the narrative forward at a speed that will bend me in ways I didn't think imagninable but never break me.
I guess I wasn't wandering after all!!!!............. And neither are you.
If you are not accepted it's only an invitation to journey. Don't make your first community your God. Realize your commonalities, show grace, forgive, love and search for understanding in everything and you'll find what only appears to be wandering is in actuality a perfectly placed, sometimes inconvenient, extremely accurate roadmap to a stronger, more complete and much more powerful you. pick up the map, take the journey.
you won't regret it.
With love and consideration for whoever reads.
Jovon Dangerfield aka KingdomActivist