Before community groups and life groups, churches held Sunday night potlucks and Wednesday night Bible studies. Whether attending a community-building event, tagging along with my dad to elders’ meetings, or helping my mom fill tiny cups with grape juice for Sunday morning communion, I was always finding myself at the church. I can still remember the smell of the church kitchen and the sound of the empty auditorium, but it’s hard to pair specific memories with the moments my beliefs took shape.
When Chris and I “went public” with our marital struggles, we discovered that people reacted to the truth of our brokenness in very different ways. Some withdrew, afraid that our brokenness was somehow akin to the Ebola virus and sure to be contagious. Others withdrew simply because they had no idea how to help, and the silence and pain was awkward. And yet others withdrew, because they had not left any space in their life for people who were hurting. Some came close, close enough to judge, condemn, and preach. Others came close to join the train-wreck party, and rejoiced in knowing that they were not alone. Then there were Corrie and Sarah.