As a member of the largest “Christian” church in my county, I assumed I had a built-in family to be there to help me during times of struggle. Yet when I became extremely ill and fighting for my life… my church family and its members did something I never expected… they abandoned me.
Struggling to survive, bombarded with medical bills, unable to complete daily tasks for myself, incapable of leaving the house without assistance and craving any remnant of a social life; what I needed most in the world was the love and support of my family, friends and church members. A community to embrace me as I suffer so deeply. Yet, upon hearing the seriousness of my diagnosis, many of my so-called friends and family members simply vanished from my life. Others within my family and church used this opportunity to criticize me, accuse me, and spread the horrific blaspheme of unbiblical lies that “if only I would repent of my sins I would be healed”. One by one, family and friends deserted me when I needed them most.
Absolutely horrifying. And yet, as I share my story with others, I’m saddened to know I’m not alone. The shallow façade of a loving, supportive church family (and even blood relatives) is happening in churches all across the world. Story after story, I witness the lack of sincerity within today’s Christians, even among those professing long and deep friendships. In times of trials, Christians are abandoning each other and busying themselves with gossip, social media and church activities… leaving no time for fellow members in tremendous need.
After years of being alone and abandoned by family, friends and my church, an unexpected miracle happened… a friend came into my life when I needed one the most. A beautiful, thoughtful and loving woman showed up and stood by my side. She did the one thing I needed more than anything else, simply be a supportive, loving friendship. She came to see me multiple times a week; just to check in with me or to sit with me, talk with me, laugh with me and cry with me. Even when I was too weak to speak, she would just sit with me, tell me happy stories or just hold my hand to comfort me. She shared my burden and eased my loneliness as a shut-in. Easing my deep yearning and loss for social interaction. Her loving friendship was honest and sincere. I got to know her passions and struggles, her dreams and her hopes for the future. This amazing woman became a true and wonderful friend, and showed me more love than an entire county of self-professing “Christians”.
My love for her friendship is so precious, I struggle in my mind whether to share a tiny detail with you. A private detail that makes no difference for the love she held in her heart for others. This amazing woman, full of love and compassion (more than an entire congregation of “Christians”, was transsexual. To some, this minute detail is of no importance; but to others, this tiny fact may cut deep. For “Christians” who profess to do the work of the Lord and claim to have the love and compassion of Christ, they may be somehow offended that one transsexual could show more love and compassion than an entire county of Christians put together. In some ways, this speaks volumes for those claiming to have the love of Christ within them, yet have not even a mustard seed of love compared to this beautiful, caring individual. For those of you, your church or your community, believing that you’re somehow better, superior or more loving than the LGBT community, you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Christians, you’re not better than anyone, you’re not more loving, caring or kind. So many of you (entire congregations in cities all across the world) are the exact opposite of what you profess. You are heartless, selfish and in many cases I would venture to guess that you don’t actually know God at all.
Christians, where were you when I needed a ride for treatment, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, a kind word, a thoughtful visit or the company of a friend? You were busy, doing worldly things for your church or sitting on your hands while claiming to be praying for me. God’s love knows no bounds and comes in packages that might surprise you. God used a beautiful transsexual to pour out love to me when I needed it most, when my Christian family had forsaken me, God found a loving heart who could hear His calling. Be careful, Christians who practice Churchianity, the rocks all around you are crying out and you can’t even see it.
Do you even know what it is to love? To be there for someone. We’re not called to know all the answers, we’re called to love each other. I suggest you pull your head out of your Churchianity; stop telling those in need that you’re “praying for them” and start looking around to see what opportunities God has placed right in front of you… and do it! Actually walk the walk. Don’t busy yourself with mindless Bible studies that don’t actually change your heart. Learn to love, like Christ loves us. Learn to actually do any of the things you claim to do.
The power of love, even the smallest kindness offered to a stranger, has the power to change a person’s day. Repeat this kind of love and you harness the power to positively change a person’s life. I share this truth with you, out of a loving heart, with the hope that it may open the eyes of Churchianity Christians, to the reality that surrounds you. I pray these words will persuade your heart to let go of worldly desires, empty religions and the busyness of a church, so you may discover the deeper relationship that awaits you… embrace God himself and let Him guide your heart. Put into action what God places in front of you. Harness the power of love and you harness the power to change the world.
– In loving memory of my beloved, patient, kind, beautiful, honest and selfless friend, Dee. I miss you tremendously.