Sally wrote a letter to the Executive Director of Partners in Hope Lake Travis after several volunteers worked at her home. She is a collector of what some might call junk. But to her it is a source of income.
Here is how a part of her letter reads:
Her fear was real. She lived in fear of judgment and rejection. Many who live in isolation, poverty, depression or (fill in the blank) live in fear of how others will receive them.
Sally overcame her fear and agreed to allow the volunteers to work at her home.
Read more of her letter:
Why do people like Sally live in fear of rejection?
Sally is just like many who live in our communities that become isolated from neighbors, friends and family. Yes, some if not most struggle with depression, addictions, mental health. However, for many, fear prevents them from connecting with others.
Sadly, most of us Christians shy away from those in our communities that seem to have “issues”. Either that or we simply don’t notice them.
Our churches spend thousands upon thousands of dollars attempting to attract “stable” people to attend their churches. If you happen to not clean up so nicely, or have trouble leaving your home, you might have to wait until the next “project day”.
You know, that day once a year or if you are lucky once a quarter when some churches “go outside the walls” to serve others.
No wonder people like Sally live in fear of judgment or rejection.
It seems to me that our church culture resembles too closely the religious culture of Jesus’ day. We are all about our big budgets supporting fancy buildings, large staffs, and top-notch programs while people like Sally continue to live lonely, isolated lives.
I wonder where Jesus would spend His time if He were here today? Who would He seek to find? How would He treat a person like Sally?
Maybe we focus our resources in the wrong place.
And on the wrong people. I don’t mean to say that just because you live in a nice house, your family looks like it has it all together, and you have two incomes that you should be ignored.
But, I do think the church decides who to “target” out of the general population through a lens clouded by worldly success metrics.
If our true desire is to see people come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, maybe we should spend more of our resources where people are desperate for hope, acceptance, and freedom.
Disclaimer—I am the president of the board of Partners in Hope Lake Travis.
Thankfully, organizations like Partners in Hope catalyze believers who want to live lives sent to people like Sally. Churches can and should do the same thing.
Yes, church on Sunday morning will look different. Discipleship will look different. Budgets and staff will look drastically different.