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I Am the Church

Photo by Eduardo Braga on

I am the one with a cheerful face, smiling and shaking the hands of those who pass by me on the second row, the one whose heart is breaking with sorrow as I sit in church and pray for my estranged son’s repentance. I am the one who briefly smiles at others while I wonder if the world would be better without me, the one with no hope, the one with never ending tears.

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I am the one in church who wears my recently deceased mother’s small gold cross, who listens for hope and healing in every word of every song and sermon, the one who knows my mother is in Heaven, yet I pray for my own pain to stop. I am the widowed, the abandoned, the regretful for the unmentionable sins, the one whose marriage died.

Matthew 5: 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I am the one who longs to have human touch, a hug, a conversation, the one who was hurt badly by people in my past, the one afraid to approach another as I seek fellowship and friendship. I am the one who longs for love but never speaks, who cries inside but cannot cry aloud for help.

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

I am the one lurking behind who waits for the music to start before I slide into the back of the sanctuary, the one whose clothes are frayed and shoes are worn, the unbathed one who sits alone and prays with a grateful heart to have coffee and a bite to eat in the church lobby as I wait to hear God’s Word, the one who feels church is a warm place to praise God for my many blessings, the one who steadfastly seeks God’s glory in a world where there is so little for me. I am the one with abundant worldly wealth and a vastly empty heart.

Matthew 5: 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

I am the one deeply hurt by a friend, a neighbor, a loved one, a relative, yet I am the one who forgives. I am the one who prays for the one who hurt me; I am the one who prays for the happiness and health of others even as they despise my very being. I am the one who prays the spiteful will see God’s love.

Matthew 5: 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

I am the child sitting with my parents, one of the little wiggly sheep who watches and copies my parents as they fold their hands and bow in prayer. I am the one who tries to sing along with each song without knowing the words, the one who knows God is good and yet can’t read a Bible verse. I am the one who knows no other but my God.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

I am the one praying for my family to heal, the one who speaks to people on all sides of an argument, the one who mediates between a teen and a parent, the one who talks softly and peacefully among those who yell, the one who stands between the angry mob and the victim, the one who visits the jails of the brokenhearted, misunderstood, and angry. I am the one walking in a war-torn foreign land offering food and help.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

I am the one shunned at work or school for speaking of Christ, the one who is met with discouraging looks when I ask acquaintances to join in worship, the one who toils daily to serve a congregation in an old building constantly vandalized with writings of hate, the one laughed at in a crowd because I encourage others to come to God or pray before each meal.

Matthew 5: 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I am the one who believes in The Ten Commandments, believes that God has a plan, believes that God has a purpose for the universe and the specific order of mankind He created. I am the one who believes that life is a gift and that the Bible is the Living Word that still lives today. I am the one who belongs to a group diminishing in numbers, the one who refuses to give up on missions in countries where Christians are persecuted, the one who believes the current culture is one of evil and I stand against the storm and with my God.

Matthew 5: 11-12 Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


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