Thursday, September 11, 2008

Church Under Construction - Loving the Church to Maturity

So the other day the Lord (while in prayer) asks me, “Can you love the church like you love your special needs son!?” This floored me. I had been feeling a little anxious about involving myself again in some ministry within the local church, when this question pops in my spirit!

You see my son, Richy (same name), was born in ‘99 while only 6 months in the womb. (4 months early) He was 1lb 8oz! I have pictures of him with my wedding ring around his arm. Most babies who are born this early don’t survive. (As I unfortunately found out later with our twin boys, in ’04) In Richy’s case, he pulled through by a miracle! When R2 (as we affectionately refer to him in writing) came home after 4 months in the NICU at 6lbs! He was totally blind and lifeless. For the first few years of his life, he showed no reciprocal affection. By the time R2 was 2 he had regained vision in one of his eyes, and now can see fairly well. (Legally blind) He had a shunt put in his skull, which helped drain fluid that was causing him to act lifeless. Once that operation was done, he began to show some personality. The first time R2 showed real affection and preference for me was after my twin boys died, and I had returned from the Hospital. We hadn’t seen him in a few weeks throughout the ordeal, and R2 refused to let go of me while trying to leave the house for an errand. He was crying and saying “daddy.” R2 is now 9 years old; he is still in diapers and is mentally about a 3yrs old. (Yet somehow has the sarcasm and memory of a 9year old!) He is a very happy guy, and VERY affectionate! He just had his first day of school last week!

I want Richy healed. But at the same time, I love him just the way he is. Early on, when he was showing no affection, I would just lay with him in his bed, sing him songs, and rub my hands his hair. I was fascinated with him as my first-born son. During that time I learned how the Father (God) loves me, even when I’m unresponsive. Yet, in God’s persistence He eventually won my affection, as I have my sons. The day will come when R2 is perfectly whole!

Now God is asking me (us) to love His church this way. To love her while seeing her weaknesses, unresponsiveness, inabilities, and imperfections; yet, being fascinated with WHO she is, as the bride in preparation for Christ. We are a church under construction. Let us be committed to love her through her failures, knowing that in our persistent love, she will return affection to her bridegroom. She will be holy. She will be pure. She will be Christ’s.

As the Holy Spirit is shaking up the church in this day, let us not be quick to throw out a word of premature accusation or rash judgment, as if that will accomplish anything. This is a day where the church needs real fathers and mothers who will labor for her in love as the Apostle Paul, who groaned in spiritual labor pains while in consistent prayer for her well being. Let’s seek to posses the love that covers, the love that conquers, and the love that abounds in “all knowledge and discernment;” drawing us all to maturity!
We will be holy! We will be His! We will be radiant! – Richy Clark Sr


Java3232 said...

Hi Richy,

This is an awesome post! Thank you for sharing!


Mama PC aka "Pam-Maw" said...

I am totally impressed with your insight.

I love you and am impressed with God has done and is doing in your life/lives.