The new year had begun and it seemed, like standing before a locked threshold with no window to peer through, no doorman to request an entrance inside. What was beyond the door? One would imagine warmth, a hearth with a crackling fire, and a table set with a meal and good company, safety, the sanctuary of a place. On the streets it had been catch as can, belonging nowhere, sleeping in doorways until shooed away and hoping for a scrap of something to sustain. Gnawing hunger and cold on the street served with a side of loneliness and fear.
My husband was told he could not come back until he was "all better". He had sworn at an usher in our church who refused to let him leave when he was upset. My husband begged the man to step aside so he could pass through the door and go home but the usher said "No, I can see you are upset, tell me about it and we will pray." One blocking the doorway, one pleading to leave to get medication to take care of a medical condition that had arisen. "No" So in desperation my husband swore, the man jumped aside in surprise and my husband went home.
The following day my husband met with the pastor and explained what happened and apologized for swearing. The pastor then explained that he "knew all about PTSD" and that my husband could come back to church when "He was all better". The door to our church home was closed to my husband and might as well have been to me. How could I continue to attend a church my husband was not allowed to attend until he was "fine".
We waited a year. I continued with the ministry I was engaged in on behalf of the church praying for reconciliation, a new minister arrived. I met and then my husband met with her. Forgiveness,grace, mercy were not extended. Evidently swearing once in the lobby of the church, with no priors, was unforgiveable.
I wrote a letter of resignation from the ministry I had been engaged in and joined my husband on the outside looking in. The Church universal is hemorraging membership annually. Our situation was totally avoidable. This story continues as I pray and seek God for new direction and purpose within or without the organized church. Currently my husband and I have been attending a small local church that has been very welcoming. We havn't joined. We are like divorcees who would prefer to live together unmarried than risk the committment of the ceremony at the moment. We shall see, time will tell.