I won't tell you the name of the church, we have attended several both in this town and in surrounding cities. The name of the church is so unimportant. The church webpage had a twitter feed, you know where a twitter account has their tweets posted on the page to give information. The first twitter feed was a tweet about the service on Sunday, about learning more about the Bible. The second tweet listed the two people that would be leading the service that Sunday. Now, my first thought, disappointment because I love our regular pastor. The tweet provided a link to each of those people's twitter accounts. I clicked the first one to learn more about that person. He was in college and had a few tweets about nothing of significance, at least to me. I clicked on the second persons twitter feed. Shock. Disbelief. I thought someone has incorrectly linked this person to the church webpage. I bring it to Jacob and ask him to make sure I am seeing this correctly. I am not the most savvy with technology and he is. He said that I am seeing the right person and we knew for sure, because other church members and leaders were listed as "following" this persons twitter account. As I read through the tweets, I felt sick, angry, disgusted. "I like my women like I like my coffee...from a third world country and reasonably priced", "As a cannibal, I try to eat as many gays and retards as possible, helps me get my five fruits and vegetables a day", "Last week my girlfriend was in a car accident and now has to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair...or should I say ex girlfriend", "Some freak decided to write retard on my car window...took me an hour to lick it off", "I'm going to write a horror book in braille, and there will be a razor blade at the end", "rape is such a strong word, I prefer snuggle struggle."
And there are more and more like this. I am disgusted and my heart is hurt. This is a person on the worship team at the church? Really? I actually messaged this person and he and I had a discussion today. He felt that it was just a sense of humor, apparently that I don't have one, and that I shouldnt have read the twitter feed. I explained that when it is linked to the church webpage, it stands to reason that it will be read. I did not go looking for it, it was on the webpage! He said that he is not perfect and that I should stop pretending to be perfect. I explained that I am far from perfect but making fun of people is not right and it is hurtful. I told him about my daughter, about sweet Sophia. At that point, he knew who I was and who Sophia was, because the church has prayed for her many times before, Sophia has been on stage there before, Sophia has been preached about by the pastor. He said he was sorry if his statements were hurtful and he would be more conscious in the future. I asked him to remember Sophia's name and in the future, when he felt that making fun of others was funny, that he think of Sophia and know that she is the one he is making fun of. Someone who already has such a hard life, someone who cannot stand up for herself. He said that he is 17 and trying to become a better person. I told him that even at 17, he knows the difference between right and wrong. We ended the conversation by him stating that he had apologized and that was all he could do, and that he would be praying for Sophia. I told him that I will not be back to the church, and that I too will be praying for him.
I realized that God has once again used Sophia to touch another. I hope that this young man will heed to his word and that he has learned something. Maybe that was God's intent, maybe He had a plan for me to read the tweets and confront this young man. But now, I am left with this hollow place in my stomach. I am sickened by this young man who should know better and I am saddened that he has taken away my church family. I don't feel that I can return there now. When the church leaders follow this man's twitter account, and do not address it with him, and do not teach him better, and he is on the worship leadership team, I feel that it is condoning the behavior, the statements, the thoughts and ideas. I can't be around that, and whats more, I won't allow Sophia around that. Thank God that she is unaware of such cruelty and hate. That she knows nothing of racist, prejudiced, homophobic people. And I am praying that this young man turn his life around, and I am praying for a new church family, and for peace in my heart, mind, and soul. Because at this very moment, my heart is hurt.