You know these lines that seem to sometimes be drawn hard? They make me heart-sick, make me long for Home. I'm talking about up there, in the sky, where there is no camp of beliefs, there is no side, there is no arguing, there is no pushing others out for the sake of our own theology. I think this makes God very small, not that it changes Him, but who He is to us and them almost becomes obsolete, something we so easily discard for the glitz of new-fangled theologies and shoring up our traditional beliefs that have taken a battering.
There, where there is no camp, where He sits on the throne, and His Son, the darling of Heaven, illuminates everything, there will be no darkness in us and we'll see clearly.
G.K. Chesterson said "Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair".
If religion really is about the way we love God and people, following the two greatest commandments our Saviour asked of us, how can we live this out?
Do we get too caught up in wrong and right, black and white? Do we divide and separate, hurt people in the pursuit of being right in our own religion?
When it comes to our brothers and sisters who are creating art alongside us, are we judging too harshly what others are bringing to the table because of our own likes, dislikes, beliefs and experience? Are we in actuality, because we believe our highest calling is to honor truth and religion as we see it done correctly, pushing the chair back in, and excusing people from the table, leaving them nowhere to partake in the body of Christ?
Are we making them feel uncomfortable in our piety, or by telling them that the pie on the buffet table they just dug into was special-made by a caterer for a church meeting and cost $20?
Have we broadcast a party, off in our secret corners, and made them feel uninvited? Have we made it for the elite only, for the rich, for the clean, for the holy, for the ones like-minded?
Does God want more from us?
There have been times I thought for sure I'd happened upon a community of believers that was for me, a place where it was safe, until I found, of course, that it was not safe, and hurt happens everywhere, and hurting people hurt people. It's been hard for me to navigate the sometimes treacherous, sometimes loving, but always the very human waters of community.
I don't know much, but I am sure we spend way too much time scrutinizing one another's art, words, and lives, and not near enough time just loving.
I'd love to see us read, share and write in such a way that we look at it as exploring the many faces of God, because he has as many as there are on this great, spinning orb at this very moment.
I want to pay attention to every life I come in contact with, because they may not be here tomorrow, and they were the face of God for me, uniquely, in a way I'll never get the opportunity to see again.
Why do we feel the need to be God, to call someone out, to correct, to criticize, to stifle their creativity? Whatever wrong we are so convinced we see in their art, or their lives, through our own filter, when we question their theology, their motives, their calling, we have become self-important and we take on a role only God was meant to have--the role of just judge. And we ask them to quit, tell them they aren't good enough. We humiliate them, assault their human dignity in the name of truth telling.
Friends, this is the basest form of love, which really isn't love at all. It's more akin to apathy, because we're serving our own purposes.
All I want to do is bend low and wash feet.
When walls keep getting thicker and higher, and lines keep being drawn hard, sides are taken, it becomes harder to wash feet, doesn't it? If we're honest, it becomes impossible.
I can't help but walk around with this ache, thinking this isn't what Jesus wanted. And this ache, it has no description.
I don't have a church because I just don't know how to anymore. I get online to find some community and I see my people scrutinizing one another, talking in whispers, off somewhere in a seemingly private corner, but oh, we must remember, everyone sees, others hear, and it hurts. It's painful, y'all.
Let's not whisper in corners. Let's be bigger than that.
Can we be people who heal?
Let's not ask one another to quit asking the hard questions. Let's not ask one another to change theology in exchange for love and acceptance. Let's not ask one another to quit writing, or creating, or living life audaciously. No, lets's tell one another the sky's the limit, because really, it is.
And please, for all that is holy, let's not excuse someone from the table. They are the face of God, and we need God at the table. I beg of us, to be reverent, to be kind, to protect one another, to be the face of God for one another.
I beg of us to love.
During the meal, Jesus took and blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples:
This is my body.
Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them:
Drink this, all of you.
This is my blood, God's covenant poured out for many people
for the forgiveness of sins.
I'll not be drinking wine from this cup again until that day when I'll drink with you in the kingdom of my Father." --Matt. 26:26-29; The Message