Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Better Check Your Blind Spots

These days I am trying to teach two teenagers how to drive. I've been giving lengthy explanations about the difference between a green light and a green arrow, and what the words "Stop" and "Yield" really mean. And we have had interesting conversations about blind spots and how to check them. Someday soon, I will have the courage to give them the keys for good.

Blind spots. I guess we all have them, and we are much better at spotting the blind spots of others while remaining largely unaware of our own. Sadly, churches have blind spots as well, people we do not see or acknowledge even though they may be in plain sight, right in front of our eyes. And all too often, we steam roll ahead, oblivious to the damage we do and the pain that we cause to those we have failed to notice.

Let me mention a few examples of those who seem to live perpetually in the Church's blind spot: single parents, the divorced, the abused, and the working poor. I'm afraid there are many others we could mention, but lately our church has been awakened to the needs of single parents in our own community. We are finally mobilizing our ministries to help address the practical, everyday needs of single parents. In this process we are finding many willing partners in our town - the community college, the local hospital, our county's social services, and several large employers.

Not surprisingly, some of our sister churches have been the least interested, the most hesitant to admit the need, and the last to get involved. Too many churches are pretending that the traditional 'Ozzie and Harriet' family is still the norm while gearing all their attempts at family ministry to a shrinking minority of "Christian" families.

God, forgive us for our blindness. Forgive us for not seeing the obvious, for not meeting the needs that have long been right in front of us, for not doing the deeds that match the message we proclaim.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen!!

Shane Vander Hart said...

Glad to see your church is leading the way and perhaps it will influence other churches to raise the bar on serving and reaching out to those who are often marginalized by the Church.

Drew Hill said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Shane. We've got a long way to go to get our perspective and our priorities in line with the Gospel we profess. Time to wake up and smell the coffee.