Lots of pain and hurt this week. Even the sleepers on social media – those that rarely voice their opinions and vision for society – updated their Facebook status and Twitter feeds, sharing their outcry for social justice, less racial division, and overall, more unity.
I wanted to avoid the conversation altogether. It’s too messy. Too hard. I’ll say something that’s wrong and then have to apologize for it later. My pride stands in the way of progress.
Isn’t that the way it is with a lot of things?
We’re all so tight-fisted and ready to defend ourselves that we’re unable to come to the table with open minds, open arms, and a stance that is ready to rush to another’s aid and serve them as we are capable of. Rather, we stand on the pedestal of our own understanding, never thinking to look another in the eye and hear out their story – without feeling shame, anger, or annoyance if it turns out our “kind” is to blame. Even though, it’s really everyone’s fault.
As a nation, we’re failing to Love God and Love Others. We’ve abandoned the principles our great nation was built upon, and now the nation suddenly doesn’t look so great. So we blame everyone but ourselves, pointing fingers and sharing opinions while avoiding prayer, inward heart-changes, and outward expressions of newfound love and humility to understand something different.
I love that Jesus tells us to have child-like faith. I love that he views us as his children. It’s a great picture. Kids have such an innocence, a wonder, a fervent joy that doesn’t darken until life hits them too hard (typically around the time hormones get involved and someone betrays them). But children have no fear, they simply trust. They ask lots of questions and freely admit they don’t always know the answer. They’re willing to learn – willing to discuss what we may consider “trivial things.”
Over the last few years I’ve been attending LifeMission Church in Olathe, KS. There’s only been a few times the Lead Pastor has taken a political stance/leaning but the past few services, it’s impossible for a pastoral shepherd to ignore the devastation our society has endured. With a broken heart, contrite spirit, and humble desire to bring a hopeful perspective, Pastor Clint presented us this idea. Perhaps it’s not so much racism (and this is where we could be wrong, but I’m simply presenting an idea – I openly admit I don’t have ‘the’ answer), but an absence of love. An absence of a society that readily acknowledges the love of the Father and instead, readily rids itself of any moral constraints tied to the Gospel.
As a people, we’ve been so self-centered. Incredibly impatient. Lacking an others-oriented nature. We’re happy to be on board as long as the system serves our needs and desires, but once there’s some sort of demand – or even simply a request made on us outside our comfort-zone, we’re ready to flee the system and find another one to place ourselves into. I believe this is why we see so many broken relationships in the church, among dating couples, and even in friendships. The relationship stops meeting our expectations – the person doesn’t change to be the exact person we want them to be – and then we’re out. If that’s the case, that’s because we don’t fully grasp what Love is.
Love – Jesus – the Son of Love – goes out of its way to love another. To love despite is the call of every man that calls on Jesus as Savior. To rid oneself of haughty pridefulness and greet even the worst of sinners with an open hand. To get down on their knees and into the dirt to be eye-level with the other children, humbling themselves to the point of selflessness. Doing what’s right for the collective, rather than what lifts up the individual.
In plain-man’s terms – following Jesus isn’t easy. But our culture is crying out for a people that will pick up their cross daily and follow him. They need lovers, servants, feet-washers, and truth-speakers that’ll cry with them, pray with them, celebrate with them, and work alongside them. I need people that’ll do the same. You need people that’ll do the same.
We desperately need Love with a capital L. We desperately need Jesus. I don’t know the answer. But Love might be a good start.