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There's a scene in the movie The Book of Eli when Denzel Washington, the hero, walks away from a girl being raped.
Every time I see that scene, my heart breaks. I want him to climb down the hill, kick some bad-guy butt, take the girl into his arms, and tell her she's okay.
But he walks away. The girl isn't his problem.
The body of Christ is in trouble, just like that girl. The church is beaten and bruised alongside the road. She's naked, dirty, an eyesore to believers and nonbelievers alike. Loving her is hard, but she is the love of our first love. Jesus Christ will never leave her nor forsake her. He will go to her, pick her up, and heal her.
We too must go to her.
We too must love her.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION
Over the past few years, I've been trying to help the girl. It didn't look pretty at first. But that's just it: Helping a hurt person is messy. There's no right way to do it. You just help because Jesus has shown you that no person should die of neglect—no matter what they've done.
Right now, there are thousands of churches that are hurting and maybe even dying. I urge you to commit yourself to doing the hard work of love in the body of Christ. To conquer, revive the dead and dying, and fall deeper in love with Jesus and his beautiful mess of a bride.
Having a longing to experience love, unity, and a deep hunger for Jesus is wonderful. But the church isn't meant to satisfy our longings. It's meant for messed-up believers to move toward love, unity, and a deep hunger for Jesus. If we're not moving toward these like followers of Christ do, then we're just part of the problem.
It's time to be part of the solution. It's time to save the girl.