“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.”
Isolation for a Christian is one of the greatest hardships. It is not what God intends, yet in the life of my family it is a painful reality. My wife has an environmental illness, which makes it impossible for her to be around people who use perfume, cologne, and who wear clothing that has been laundered in scented laundry products. We live a long distance from a Mennonite congregation, and have found little interest among neighborhood churches to consider how they might accommodate a family with this type of disability. We, like many others with this disability, worship at home and dream of a day when we might some how experience the profoundly beautiful words written in Article 19 of the Mennonite Confession of Faith.
“We believe that God intends human life to begin in families and to be blessed through families. Even more, God desires all people to become part of the church, God’s family. As single and married members of the church family give and receive nurture and healing, Christian family relationships can grow toward the wholeness that God intends.
We recognize that God has created human beings for relationship. God intends human life to be blessed through families, especially through the family of faith. All Christians are to take their place within the household of God, where members treat each other as brothers and sisters.”
We are still recovering from numerous rejections from brothers and sisters in Christ, and from pastors, who feel real bad that we have this problem, but who are unwilling to change anything that would help bring us into the family of God. People in the Body of Christ may have turned a cold heart to our needs, but it is clear that God has not forsaken us.
I encourage each person who reads this, who is a member of a congregation in Christ, to reflect on the gift you have in your life. The value of family life in Christ is absolutely immeasurable. What would your life look like if you couldn’t associate with other Christians without needing to spend three days in bed with a migraine headache afterward?
I pray to you Lord Jesus that there will be a Change of heart and mind in the Body of Christ where every brother and sister in Christ will be seen as a member of your Family. I pray that the millions of people who live with multiple chemical sensitivity will be received into the family of God while still living on Earth. I pray for my family that we will be lead by God’s Holy Spirit into the type of family relationship described in Article 19. I pray that our hearts will not be hardened by the isolation, but will grow through this experience and that my wife and I will still be of use to your family and your Kingdom. Amen.