5.20.2010

Broken Tomato Cages pt III

I have a dear friend, (they are actually stereotypical of many) who's spiritual formation has been inhibited by the very Institution that was supposed to foster it. They are an herb someone has treated like a tomato plant. This has inhibited their ability to grow, so now they are outside of the Church. They haven't abandoned Jesus, but they have left behind much of His plans and purposes, because they are sick of tomato cages, and the gardeners won't stop using them!

Admittedly, this person has chosen to walk away from things they know to be crucial; they are partly culpable in their own circumstances. However, we too, share in the culpability...

When the structures of the Institutuional Church are broken, we might actually begin to reimagine the true purposes of Church...

And so we smash the cages! Then we aren't tempted to use them! Throw off the old structures, experiment, try new ways, dream new dreams.

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But at the same time, trying to learn how to garden without tomato cages is frustrating when everyone coming to you for food only wants tomatoes! I give them carrots, lettuce, basil, peppers, potatoes, but they aren't interested, and keep talking about how my garden doesn't look like what they were expecting.

"Where are those metal structures? Isn't a real garden supposed to have those?"

2 comments:

LindaFaye said...

I often think about what kind of church can successfully reach my city... The current tomato cages, to use your term, is not succeeding. When we pray for our city I hear people asking God to touch the lost and stuff like that, but I am asking God to change me to my voice can be heard by the lost. I feel a lot of times that we need to pray for God to change us and our ways of gardening rather than praying for the plants to change so we can do it our way...

Steve S. said...

There is real wisdom there...

It is one of the things about my wife that I greatly admire. She always tries to see the problems in her own heart first, she always looks for the hard road...

But, she got that way by hanging out with women like you. Thanks for being a kindred soul!