Reflecting on Church #3: Pain is Real; Handle it Honestly

Reflecting on Church #3: Pain is Real; Handle it Honestly

With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #3.

This church set a fine example in how they confronted tragedy in an honest way. I’m encouraged to see the church function as a church should, grieving together and supporting each other. In the days after our visit, I prayed for this congregation, their pastor, and the family in the midst of heartbreak.

On a personal level, I wanted to return to experience a normal service, but after a while, I realized this wasn’t necessary. I’d already seen them for who they are, not from a typical Sunday but from a remarkable one.

52 Churches, A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, by Peter DeHaan, PhD

Their character emerged out of calamity, shining as a bright beacon of hope, pointing us to God.

My memories of this church are bittersweet and the lesson they modeled is profound. More churches need to deal with pain in a forthright manner, not glossing over it, ignoring it, or wallowing in it, but by being real.

[See my reflections about Church #1, Church #2, or Church #4.]

Get your copy of 52 Churches and The 52 Churches Workbook today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.


  • Sally Stap Posted May 14, 2014 10:45 am

    I like real. Sounds like you got more than expected from this visit

    • Peter DeHaan Posted May 14, 2014 11:21 am

      Indeed! Though it was uncomfortable, what I learned was significant.

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