{too much}

See, the thing is, just because Christianity as a spiritual and social entity has traditonally acted as a kind of catch-all for vulnerable people, doesn’t mean Christianity as an institution and culture is at this time well-equipped to cope with what’s being brought to it. Or what the church itself and the people in it are inflicting upon people inside it. Some come to church having been horrifically abused, and the church was the only safe place they knew. However, we now know the church isn’t any safer than the society surrounding it, and to tell people otherwise is to deliberately and horrifically deceive them. {Jo Hilder}



the more brave showed up, the more feigned acceptance showed up

the more pseudo love, the more actual resistance and sky high walls

the more brave, the less assurance of a new trophy of grace to proudly show off


this one is getting a bit under our skin, we better watch out

delegate, pray fancy prayers, shove books at her

try and convince her to claim false healing and name it real

after all, if this isn’t working for her then she must be missing something huge


this is getting too messy, she is just too much

our mode of operation is being threatened

we can’t keep saying what we are saying and save face

we say we want their stories but we don’t know what to do when they go off script

or often we draw out their wounds and then turn it all against them

we ask them to speak yet blame them when they do

we encourage openness yet slash them in their sore places as we cannot stop the bleeding

we say we are family yet treat them as virtual strangers in their grief

we invite them in and then announce by our actions they are really only acquaintances who crossed our lines without warning

if we could only pretty up the outside and toss some spiritual dust on the rest and wish it well

if only it all really worked like we claim and promise it does


What if we actually lived what we said?

What if we loved in reality when the discomfort edges us into unknowns

What if we embraced for the long haul versus looking shiny until they have to be phased out?


How do we sleep at night with our trophy lined walls?

What about those who don’t fit our formula?

What about the ones who challenge our status quos?

What if we lived what we preached?

What if the fancy words and well researched roots were fleshed out?

What would church look like then?


Wait, you don’t like my questions?

You don’t want me here anymore?

I say too much?

Ask too much?

Am too much?

What is this all really for anyway?

Who are you all really serving?


{Hope Wood © 2014}

>>>dialogue with this lovely lady Jo Hilder helped my words come forth. Her brave brave post, “Why you, dear church, are not equipped to deal with our stories” resonated with me on a deep level<<<