Thursday, February 18, 2010
I was listening to the radio on my drive home from my son's high school at 5:45 am this morning and the words to a song I have sung along with a thousand times struck me as unkind. This particular song referred to the sinners and the saints. How often in my walk as a "Christian" have I categorized myself as one such saint. Of course, others less righteous than myself were the sinners. Why does it always have to be about "us" and "them"? Other songs on my well known list go on to talk about "wiping away our enemies". But who is our enemy? Who is the enemy of God? At this point in my spiritual journey the only enemy of God I can find is the author of hate and maliciousness. It seems to me that I have been as guilty as everyone else for the majority of my life in dividing myself from the rest of God's children. I do not believe that only those who "have it right" belong to Him. I was driving to work 2 days ago and passed 2 churches sitting right next to one another. Both belonged to the Christian sect, but were different denominations. I thought about the fact that 2 separate bodies joined there each Sunday to worship the same God. Right next door to one another. But their difference in minor theology keep them divided. It is amusing to think about how all our little differences make such a big difference in our lack of unity with mankind in general. Once I stepped out of my ultra-religious box I have come to know a very diversified group of people. Christian, Mormon, Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, Atheist, and just your normal Joe who makes no such affiliation. Other than the few who claim no belief in God (yet still seem to blame Him for the bad in their lives) I find all people are pretty much the same. Everyone I know still sees a need for God. Everyone still calls to Him in need and acknowledges His hand in their lives at some point. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has something wrong and something right. Maybe if we were more open to learning from one another rather than keeping us separated by our particular leanings, there would be more love and unity overall. I have given thought to the "come apart and be ye separate" in scripture and my new belief is this. I want to show Jesus in my life. Not through my words, but in my love for mankind. My love for MANkind not MYki nd. Jesus was different from everyone I have ever know or heard of (including myself) in this way. He loved everyone. He hung out with those who were not like Him. He opened His arms to the prostitute, drunk, tax collector, doctor, rough-neck and religious. He sets standards and rules not so that we could live up to some religious doctrine, but so to avoid causing pain to others and ourselves.This would be truly being separate, because most everyone I know thinks that people who are like they are, are better. If you search yourself I am sure you will find this is true about you as well. I still think love is the way. I think that more and more with everyday that passes. It is very humbling to realize that all the things you always thought made you "RIGHT" was actually the thought process that was keeping you from what God really wants you to be.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I have given much thought this weekend to how people treat one another. Though we have had a rather difficult and painful week. I tried to be fair in my thinking and begin my consideration of this in my own life. Talk about painful. It is a very difficult thing to assess your words and deeds and realize the impact they have upon others. I look at the mistakes (and not even mistakes, but downright ignorant decisions) I have made and the long term effects they have had on my family. Hell itself cannot hold the pain of watching a child wander down a desolate path that they saw both of their parents chose at some point in their lives. I think of how quickly my mouth runs ahead of my brain, and the pain and sting that my words may often cause. Then I look around me. I am amazed at how we as a whole spend the majority of our time tearing someone else down. How quick we are to judge and assess the lives of others when not one of us have our lives in perfect order. I have really been praying to be more aware of doing this and maybe God is answering that prayer, because I sicken myself at times. My prayer continues that God would help me keep my mouth shut and my heart open. I really want to find the ability to love people as they are and find good even in the blackest soul. I have been praying today for my enemies, (even though I honestly would rather cause them the pain they have caused my family). But what power is there in letting the hate and pain continue. If only God would remove it and let me learn to love. But how do you love the person (or people) who are hurting the ones you love? I am so glad God is not like me. I am glad He loves us all the same. Maybe this realization of the piousness I carry will help me be more tolerant toward the church as a whole. I have seen so many people burned by the religious system, but maybe I am no different. Actually I know I am no different, because there are people out there I would (and sometimes do ) treat the same way. Why does it seem though that everyone who has caused a major root of bitterness and the deepest pain in our lives come from that "Christian" community? It scares me. One more example of how everyone is the same maybe. No matter what religion, status, race, creed, age, or education, all people are capable of the same selfish behaviour. Maybe everyone carries a piece of this murderous soul.