Wounded In The House Of My Friends


I have had the privilege of being wounded occasionally by other Christians, and I count it a privilege because it has led me to greater understanding of and compassion for others.

The most important wound I have received was specifically intended by the Lord to give me understanding and compassion for others.

It all began when I started attending a local church.  I had attended that church years previously, and came back to find that one of the pastors had been significantly touched by God at a revival meeting where people from all over the world were coming to experience God's presence and to receive His touch.  I became a working in that pastor's area of ministry in the church, and we found that God was apparently bringing others into that church who had had similar encounters with God.

One of these others was a recent graduate from college named Marie.  I noticed that she had begun to attend weekday meetings at the church I attended, and she also was attending Friday evening meetings at a church I attended in another nearby city.  Eventually one of the other couples whom God had led to my local church befriended Marie, and she began to volunteer with my pastor friend.  Marie had the gift of intercession, and frequently prayed for others in person and distantly for God's will to be done in their lives.

The 'trouble' was that she would be moved on by the Holy Spirit with visible manifestations which were easily noticed by others.  She would sit with this other couple of friends in the front row of the church, and so was easily visible by others in the congregation.

Eventually some people complained to the senior pastor that her unusual way of worshipping and praying were distracting to others.  So the senior pastor called her in for a conference with him.  She was excited to talk to the senior pastor, assuming that he wanted to hear what God was doing in her life.  But the other couple who had befriended her suggested that she should be prepared for the possibility that he did not want to hear her testimony.

So she met with the pastor, and sure enough, he did not want to hear what God was doing in her life, he just wanted to stop others in the congregation from complaining about her unusual worship and prayers.  He asked her to move to the rear of the church sanctuary where she would not be distracting to others.  She did so, but afterward told the other couple that she felt that her freedom of expression was now restricted.  She left that church and never returned.  I believed that the congregation had lost a valuable intercessor.

After she left I asked the Lord, "What that was all about?"  I was surprised when He spoke to my heart and said, "When I wanted to invade Israel 2000 years ago I did not come through the High Priest or the King, I came through a young woman who had nothing to offer me but her body, but the leaders just didn't want Me or receive Me.  And when I wanted to invade the church you attend, I did not come through the senior pastor, I came through a young woman who had nothing to offer Me but her body.  And the leaders simply did not understand or receive Me."

Several months later I was on the prayer team at the other church I attended on Friday evenings.  The prayer team leader came up to me, informed me that a complaint had been lodged against me, and that I was suspended from the prayer team indefinitely.  Then he walked away.  I was completely shocked!  I wracked my brain, but I could not think of anyone I had argued with or had any disagreements with at all.  So I asked him whom I had offended, and he told me that a young couple had filed the complaint.  Ii was stunned!  I felt as if I had been falsely accused of some heinous crime!!  He suggested that I call them to discuss the situation.  When I called them I discovered that it was all a mistake, and that I had not done what they thought I had done.  It had been a member of the leadership team who was standing next to me who had offended them, and they had thought it was me.  We had a nice time of prayer over the telephone, and they told me that they would report back to the church leaders that we were completely reconciled so that I could be reinstated to the prayer team.

I waited and waited for reinstatement, but nothing happened.  So I asked my prayer team leader what has happening, and he didn't have the answer.  Three months passed, and I received a phone call, during which one of the church leaders asked me to meet with him before the next Friday evening service.

I met with him and another leader, and they informed me that they were surprised that I had not been offended and had not stopped attending the Friday evening meetings.  So, because of my 'faithful' attendance, they were going to let me usher for a month and then be reinstated to the prayer team.  I told them that I would submit to their decision since they were church leaders, but I pointed out to them that if a complaint had been lodged against me in a civil court I would have had a chance within seven days to tell my side of the story.  I also pointed out that they had waited three months to act, and had still not asked my side of the story.

So I ushered for a month, and was then reinstated to the prayer team.  The first time I prayed for someone the usher assigned to me did exactly what had offended the young couple in the first place!  I was shocked!  I stopped praying and just walked away.

On the way home that night, I again asked the Lord, "What was that all about?"  The answer?  "Now you know how Marie feels."  I was stunned.  I said, "Lord, are You kidding me?!   You let me suffer this injustice for three months just to let me know how Marie feels?"  This whole episode was so that I would know personally the pain and anguish which Marie had suffered and continued to suffer when she was disciplined for simply letting God do in her what He wanted to do in her life.

The Lord did arrange for me to be completely restored and healed of any residual hurt or anger toward anyone involved in this situation.  Yea!!

Several years later I was sitting in a weeknight meeting at the local church I attended, and received a prophesy.  I did not feel led to speak it out to the congregation, but I did share it with the leadership team.  They did not receive it.  The message was this:

"I have taken the wind out of your sails because I see the bodies in your wake of those who have disagreed with you and have been thrown overboard and forgotten.  But I have not forgotten them, and they now form a great sea anchor which further slows your progress.  Now, if you want the wind to be restored to your sails, go, humble yourselves and be reconciled with your brothers and sisters, and see what I will do when I blow on your sails."

To date the reconciliation has not been accomplished, and the Lord has refrained from blowing on that church's sails.

ON THE OTHER HAND,

I recently became aware that church leaders are also occasionally wounded by others in the congregations they serve.  So I count my wounding experience as being valuable in helping me to understand the hurts which both clergy and laity experience, and to have the grace from God, the Father of Mercies and God of All Comfort, to heal those hurts!