Jessica's gracious observations remind me about the importance of being kind and compassionate even in the face of thoughtless, or worse, malicious folks in the congregation. There have been times when I've been so broken, hurt, angry, self-righteous, etc. that I did not want to go to church at all. But I went anyway; although sometimes I had to be prodded. But with God's help, I will never let anyone snuff out my candle. People can, and have, said all kinds of things. I may be injured, but I will never be defeated. Is this because I've got some kind of super faith? No, but it is because I have a devoted spouse, a strong family, and empathic friends.
There has been some conversation about whether this is a safe place for spouses. "Somebody" might it worse for our spouses if they see something they don't like. Admittedly, this is a very real possibility. But we all know that evil loves the darkness and gossip breeds in the dark. The very best we can do is live in the light and be a positive force. It's all about power. Be careful what you say, but don't let some nameless "somebody" take away your voice.
We all know that as spouses, we see the very worst of people. But in my experience these are the people who hurt the most; they strike out because of their own pain and guilt. But we also see the very best; and that thought is what gets me through. It's Miss Esther's heart-felt prayers; it's Glen's steadfast devotion to mission; it's Paris Cotton working with my husband until midnight so that he'd get that cradle finished.
So when my spouse, or I, or even my kids become the object of someone's sin, I arm myself with these verses, "With God nothing is impossible" and "Nothing can separate us from the love of God." Because in the end, no one can defeat gracious, ever-seeking love of God.