In the church, we are the Bride beholding the Bride. Like an out-of-body experience we see her and we see ourselves. What brings her happiness brings us happiness, and her trials become our trials. We are one and the same, yet “one another”, devoted, yet dynamic (John 13:14). This means, when we consider how the church is treated or viewed there are times when we imagine the perceptions of others and other times when we are the perceivers.
But regardless of whether we see her or we see ourselves, what we think and say about her matters. As well, what we say might to some degree determine what we see, or how we see ourselves.
It is a long walk of love, but not a dreadful one. If anything, we grow more anxious to reach the end with each step. As we move we are held up by the Father, strengthened by the Spirit, and cheered on by the Son who waits for us. We are driven on, filled with and surrounded by His love. The walk is a holy one, on holy ground, with holy purpose.
How do we describe this journey so the world sees the Bride as the Father sees her? What do we say when she is maligned, sometimes by those who are closest to us; sometimes by us? In so many respects we must decide. You may not yet understand how many souls depend on it.