Part 3 of a 3-part blog series. Letters from former Christians who have left the church because they did not receive support or inclusion as a member of a marginalized community. As LSS Justice Ministries, we do not share these to inspire shame or blame, rather as a rare opportunity to learn from communities and perspectives that are rarely willing to share their truth with us. Our hope is that these letters will inspire creative conversations about how to grow in our expression of Christ’s wide welcome. This blog comes from the perspective of an immigrant woman from South America married to a Black Man.

Dear Christians,

It’s hard for me to say as a mother who always raised her children to be faithful, but I left the church for my kids. My oldest daughter said to me, “Mama, I believe in who created us. But I do not believe in this church and these church people. The way they talk about each other and the way they talk about you and your accent and all of us as if we are illegal or breaking a law just because we speak Spanish. That is not the way a Jesus who loves everyone would act.”

It broke my heart to hear my child speak this way about the church but she is not wrong. Both of my children said they saw too much hypocrisy in the church and it made them not believe. We still pray together. I still talk to them about God and tell them about the many times God saved my life when I was going through a divorce or when I was sick with a brain tumor. I tell them that this life is like a line at the grocery store. What you put on the belt and what you pay for is what you will take home with you. I do not need to attack people who are not kind. I put kindness into the world and I treat people with grace, I have grace for when I go home to be with God. The people who do not like my husband because of his dark skin and make comments about the car that he drives because they do not know why a Black man would drive a nice car. These people answer to God. They do not need to answer to me. The people who think I am not smart and that I do not have anything to give because of my English. These people are hurting God when they treat God’s children this way. That is what they are putting on their own belt and that is what they will take home with them. I do not want to take home what I see in the church that I used to go to and in many of the churches I tried to visit. 

We need more churches with people who live the things they say about Jesus. People who are doing good in the community and being kind to people who are different from them. People who do not look like them or speak like them or come from the same place that they come from. My children feel safer not going to a place with people like that. I am a good mother and I love my children. So I pray to God in my house. I believe that God still hears me there.

 

With Kindness,

Wandering, Not Lost