Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I was going to write a post updating how things are going for Carlos and me here in Harrisonburg.  But, my heart is someplace else right now.

Facebook has many lovely things, and I enjoy seeing pictures of growing little ones, and reading how friends and family near and far are doing. 

But, like with all things, there is a part of it that I really don’t like.  That is the venom and hatred so often spewed.  I think it’s great that people are willing to post videos of dumping buckets of water on their heads for ALS awareness.  I’m all for raising funds to cure horrible diseases like cancer. 

What I cannot understand is how the same people who are so incredibly compassionate and generous in some ways are so hated-filled in others. 
I’m not talking about people who are not Christians.  They have an excuse for not getting it.  Until the Holy Spirit lives in us, transformation of our thoughts and attitudes is not truly possible.  A non-Christian spewing hatred would not shock me.  That said, the brutal truth is, the most caustic, cruel things I read are often written by those who claim Christ. 

I always thought those “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do”) bracelets were kind of cheesy.  But, seriously, what would Jesus do… or say? 
Show me Biblical evidence that it is a reflection of His love to call illegal immigrants ‘dirty’ and ‘disgusting’.  That Jesus would justify hatred because of a perceived threat to His comfort and way of life.    
We know there are people out there who are slaughtering Christians.  Satan is real and at work.  We see daily evidence of that.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ, our family, are suffering intense, incredible persecution right now. 
How do we respond?  Are we flooding social media with our outrage at those atrocities?  Or, since it is so far away, it doesn’t really matter.  After all, they aren’t actually like us.  If they show up here, they might be some of those people who could ruin the best country in the world.   
This morning I read I Corinthians 13.  You know, the Love Chapter.  It has been reduced to nothing more than the chapter you read at a wedding.  Even non-Christians have it read.  Well, not the part about delivering my body to be burned, but the nice parts about being patient and never failing.
Verse one says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clashing cymbal.”  Christians sure are loud these days.  What a bunch of noise we make.  But, where is the love?

Later on in the chapter it says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (vs 11) 

Little kids are selfish.  They don’t know any better.  Their world revolves around them.  Their way of ‘reasoning’ is typically, Because that’s what I want!  And, if I don’t get it, I’m going to pout or have a tantrum.

When are we going to ‘man up’ and give up our childish ways?  To look past our own good to others?  To embrace the truth, which is that the world is not meant to revolve around us.  That if it does, we are not living the way Jesus calls us to.  His world revolved around loving and obeying His Father.  His focus was bringing His Father glory.    

I think we sometimes act as if Jesus is an impossible example, so God can’t possibly expect that of us anyway, so we’re good.  We act like He gives us grace and mercy to hoard and selectively give out to those who deserve it.  And, obviously, since I am His child, I get to determine who is most deserving.

Clang! Boom! Bang!  My heart is heavy because I don’t know how to respond.  I want to yell and spit hatred at those yelling and spitting hatred.  To whack them over the head with the Bible.  You know, beat some sense into them... in Jesus' love, of course! 

We all have our prejudices, and I am no different.  Just like everyone else, I feel justified in my dislikes.  My ‘intolerance’ against those who are intolerant is no more loving.  I’m just as ‘noisy’ as anyone else. 
And so, I am praying for help to respond in love, to speak truth, to not worry about what 'they' say or do, to stop my own clanging and give up my own childishness.  God help me!   

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