What is fair, what is truly fair?
Dictionary. com states: free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge. The Proverbs 31 Woman: Speak Up and Judge Fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Deuteronomy 1: 16: Hear the disputes between your people and judge them fairly.
That is the question I am continuously asking myself with the most recent events, because that is how I have been judged.
How do I even begin this story? I guess I will have to go backwards.
In the last few weeks I was asked by one of the ministers, at the church I use to attend, to help lead a youth weekend, that they needed leaders. I haven’t been back to lead anything at this church, because of past conflicts, but I have figured it has been long enough. I would enjoy pouring into the students just as the past leaders did for me.
A few days later I received “the dreaded unknown number” on my screen. It was the main youth minister who had few questions for me.
First question: I know you are friends with Chelsey and I know that she has had a few choice drinks. Now since you are friends with her, are you partaking as well?
What are you suppose to say, I mean this is a “Man of God” after all. Well yes I do. I actually go after Bible Study, with my Bible Study group,( which includes the pastor’s nephews) to “Theology on Tap.” This is where we are able to use our first amendment right and talk about religion in public.
Second Statement: Well I am questioning to use you since you are friends with Chelsey and you are making the same choices.
Where does that leave me?
Let’s rewind to summer of 2009
Every year my church takes a mission trip with the college department for a month or so. This helps rejuvenate the students and pushes them to their core. This summer something was different, things didn’t feel right. I didn’t fit in like I use to and the group didn’t seem as welcoming as I had remembered.
One hot summer night I received a call from Chelsey. Her tone was somber and eerie she asked if I knew what was going on?
Chelsey proceeded, “Someone(s) has gone to the youth pastor and said you do not belong in this church and you do not deserve to go on this mission trip. That everything you do is a sin.”
My jaw dropped. This makes no sense. Where is this coming from and why would it be said?
A week later I answer a call from my long lost high school sweetheart who hasn’t spoken to me in over a year.
“I have something on my heart I have been meaning to tell you,…I have ruined your reputation while you have been at school. I heard that you were out doing things so I made it up and spread it to the entire youth group. I am sorry.” said Matthew
What is happening? Why is this happening?
It took everything in me to muster up courage to have words to speak to Matthew again. It took hours that turned into days that became weeks of prayer to forgive something and someone so precious to me. Do you even know what that does to a person when she can’t go back to what she calls home? My “brothers and sisters in Christ” will not speak to me because of these rumors and they maybe judged too. How about stopping the rumors. No one bothered to stand up for me when I wasn’t there to defend myself.
The night that topped it off:
We were waiting to be transported to the island. We were in paradise it didn’t seem fair. It was one of the places you dream about or see on Pinterest. I asked if Matthew and I could take a walk. I had a whole speech prepared of how I have forgiven him and still love him.
His words tore through me like a stabbing knife. Matthew told me he was disgusted because I was still in “that sorority” and that I don’t make an effort for Christ. He told me how I hold my self was repulsive and I had eyes of the devil.
His most famous line of the night that topped everything, ” I like to see you cry because that lets me know that everything you are doing is wrong and sinful.”
The only words I could squeak out after that profound statement: “I didn’t come home because, I was helping another church with their youth group.”
And he walked away.
It has been many years since all of that has happened. Chelsey was the only one I told. I did everything I could to not let anyone know about the conversation with Matthew on the beach. I didn’t want to follow his footsteps, I needed to follow Jesus’ steps.
So then, “What is Fair?”
I did not judge the church on Matthew’s words, the youth group’s stares or the distance with the youth pastors. I understand that people make mistakes, we are flesh. Isn’t that fair? - 2nd Chronicles 19:6
I swallowed my pride and tried invest in the church that poured so much into me at one time, even after no one invited me back. Isn’t that fair? - Proverbs 11:2
I became even closer to Chelsey during my hard time and am there for her during hers, even when no one at the church where we were raised is. Isn’t that fair? - Proverbs 17:17
You might need to” keep the board fair” because I have had a social drink. But, how do you “keep it fair” when your sinless youth are hurting people to the point of they will never come back to your church?
The one question I was expecting but never heard from the pastor, because the board was too busy being fair was:
“How is your relationship with Christ?”