There is a theme throughout Scripture where God is a God who says yes. He says “Yes” love your neighbour as yourself. He says “Yes” love me with all your heart, mind and soul. He says “Yes” Come to me all who are heavily burdened, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. He says “Yes” I am with you to the end of the age. He says “Yes” go out and tell people about my love for them. He says “Yes” go out and show people my love for them, by loving them and by caring for them.
A number of years ago some friends of mine headed up a charity. We became friends at church, and they have been fellowshipping and church members here for over 17 years. This charity ministers to the intellectually disabled, along with their family and friends. Part of this ministry involves a workshop where the disabled can learn to use their hands to make wooden products. Another part of this ministry is a parents / carer’s support group where those who are under the unique demands of caring for disabled children can find some support. Indeed, I had the privilege to give a message at their Easter service on hope, and two of the mums there told me afterwards that this care support group was the one thing that helped them keep sane as they care for their kids. One whose son is now in his 30’s and requires constant care.
Recently this charity lost some much needed funding which has resulted in their not being able to pay the rent. The landlord where their offices are, graciously gave them a couple of months rent free to help them to regroup. Desperate, they approached our church elders for the possibility for them to use a small cottage on the church grounds as office space…a request which the elders said no to.
The initial reasons being that in the past, community groups have wanted to use the cottage, to which they said no, and that they didn’t want to set a precedent in allowing them to use it. When asked what they felt the Lord was saying to them about it, they said they neither heard the Lord say yes or no, and so they were saying no.
I can’t believe that our church can be so blinken heartless, and that the elders have so little pastoral compassion. The cottage is used for some storage, and a counsellor uses one of the rooms a couple of days a week. And so basically the cottage is not used to its potential. I am sick and tired of hearing our church talk about wanting to minister to the broken and hurting in our community. It’s all b.s. It’s all talk and no action. Because when it comes to the crunch where some of our church members have been doing exactly that for many years, and when they need help, the church turns their back on them.