I was your last chance. I was young and I wanted to make a difference in the world. You offered to update your music. I felt like you weren’t listening and you grumbled about how I dressed as I walked out your door.
I was your last chance. I was on the edge of suicide, bullied and beaten. You offered to hate my sin but love the sinner. I couldn’t understand how my sexuality made me an object of your preaching, yet you didn’t preach about the bullies who made me want to die. You told me you loved me and demanded I change while I crumbled into despair.
I was your last chance. I was a hippie freak, tree hugger, tattooed and pierced. You preached about heaven when I saw us destroying the earth. I heard you say God only cared about heavenly things. You looked down your nose at my appearance. I looked at your door and saw irrelevance to the crisis all around me. I kept on walking.
I was your last chance. I talked about things I read about Paganism and Buddha. You worried I might lead your children astray. I talked about interfaith dialogue and questioned God’s omnipotence. You heard threat to your beliefs and turned your back on my quest for truth. I took my quest elsewhere.
I was your last chance. I had been among you for years but sitting in your pews had lost any meaning for me. I spoke of my discontent and you told me to try harder. My life seemed empty often and most empty at church. You questioned my commitment to faith. I did too. So, I quit.
We were your last chance. Now, a few years later, we are still here or at least those like us. But you, the Christian church, are little more than a relic of the past.
There are voices speaking to us now, if we have ears to hear them. Let’s drop our defensiveness and listen before the future described above becomes reality.