I suppose I see this more than many because I work at the church. But my observation is that the little stretch on Oak Blvd between Hwy 411 and the stop sign at Pinecrest Lane (which mostly belongs to our church) is a major dumping ground for trash … the favorite of which seems to be liquor and beer cans/bottles. I have a theory about this! I’m guessing that many folks as they make that turn into 100 Oaks subdivision on their way home realize they need to dispose of any incriminating evidence that may expose their drinking habits. It’s not uncommon to find cans or bottles that are full or nearly full … again, the evidence must be dumped before they have to face their family, spouse, parents, etc. These folks are afraid to show their true selves to their loved ones, they hide their struggles and fears and weaknesses, they live in shame and guilt, and pretend that everything is fine. Admittedly, this is just a theory, but I doubt I’m wrong!
I have another theory about dumping trash. If there were some way to peer into the soul of people as they approach and get ready to enter our church buildings, I believe we’d see folks throwing a whole lot of emotional and spiritual garbage out on the ground or parking lot right before they have to actually speak to someone at the church. Most Christians are just like the families that live in 100 Oaks subdivision … we have struggles, fears, weaknesses, addictions, problems, etc. and try to hide them from one another. We’re afraid of being exposed … we want to come across as in control of our lives … we pretend everything is okay when in reality things are incredibly difficult.
I would think most families up the street from the church would like to know about their loved ones passion for liquor consumption and why they choose to live in denial. I feel pretty certain most of them would still be loved and accepted and help would be offered. I know that the Community Church family would still love and accept and help others in our family who are seriously struggling with sin, whatever it may be.
I realize it may be a tough decision to make, but next time you approach the church (and I’m not just talking about our buildings, but rather any time and place you meet with your brothers and sisters in Christ), please don’t throw out your emotional and spiritual garbage and pretend that everything is okay. Rather, bring it with you into the relationship and allow those who love you to help carry that burden. I believe you’ll find them needing help with their own bag of trash!
And by the way, we have the perfect place to take all that sin, fear, struggle, weakness, impurity, etc. – the Cross of Jesus Christ. Let’s go there together … not just to take our garbage, but to find complete forgiveness and cleansing.