I went to church today.
The sermon, the message has had me thinking a lot.
I do not mean to speak poorly of the man who was behind the pulpit but I believe his articulation of the Gospel infuriated me to the very bone. My heart broke.
Not because he wasn’t trying his very hardest. Not because he was misinterpreting scripture. No, what upset me so much is that he spoke about one of the greatest passions in my life.
I have to admit I was upset because I do not believe he brought justice to an element of God’s grace and Christ’s love that is often not articulated and sadly overlooked.
This is the ability to see beyond the surface of others. This is compassion. This is empathy. This is discernment.
I have seen the crime committed time and time again. A “Christian” looks at another person. A person who is “living in sin”
Man oh man am I tired of that phrase…
But this individual has now been deemed unclean by the “Christian” and must be fixed or cured.
Their life of using drugs, shoplifting, promiscuity, and suicidal tendencies are what need to be changed. Take the sin out of the sinner and boom we got ourselves a brand new shiny robo-Christian.
Cause that is what God desires, an army of shallow and neutered followers. (Can you taste my sarcasm?)
There is always so much more that we may never even see. Behind the curtains of the obvious a whole story waits to be revealed.
Christ saw those stories. He couldn’t wait for them to unfold.
The Cripples, the Prostitutes, the Thieves, the Poor, the Homeless, the Blind, the Depressed, the Murderers, the Broken, the Undesirables…
What did all of these titles mean to Christ? I truly wonder that. I must propose, though, that they were saddening to hear. Truly, heartbreaking.
For God’s creation to be identified as anything less than the glory He intended. For Christ, the one who lived the truest of all loves. I cannot imagine his heart not breaking and his eyes not tearing.
Christ saw these men and women for who they truly were. Who God had made them to be.
Whats more to this very day Christ sees beyond our scar tissue surface.
He sees the abuse, the loneliness, the abandonment, the circumstance, the pain.
How much sorrow God must feel when the druggie crawls on all fours begging for a fix. How much sorrow He must feel knowing that the same druggie spent ten years being verbally, physically and sexually abused.
How much sorrow God must feel when one of His “followers” kicks the druggie when he is down. When the “follower” approaches the druggie and lectures him about the Truth of a father’s love. But all the druggie hears are the screams of his mother being tortured and raped by his biological father. He never knew a father’s love.
Still the “follower” persists. Exclaiming every truth he knows. Pleading with the druggie to get up and to get right with God.
The “follower” walks away. Head hung low. So angry that this druggie will never see the Truth and will ultimately spend eternity burning in hell.
How much sorrow must God feel.
The wonderful thing about God though is that He does not just feel sorrow then hang His head in defeat. No my friends, God’s love conquers all.
That druggie and that “follower” are loved more than either will ever know.
So what is my greatest passion? Seeing the brokenness behind the curtain that covers all of our hearts. Not just seeing it though. Meeting others there.
Christ has already met us all in those shameful and painful places.
So my plea with all of my readers is two-fold.
First, If you are willing and able. Meet someone behind their curtain.
To do this though. The “YOU” in the conversation must be taken out of the equation. Sacrifice. Pull back the curtains and bring forth the love.
This curtain was not drawn for your sake. Not at all. The steps that follow are in God’s hands alone. Christ’s love must be demonstrated.
A completely SELFLESS LOVE.
Do not expect anything in return my friends. That is not God’s love. Love. Love for the sake of loving.
Share God’s Truth. Meet others behind their curtain and leave your LOVELESS SELF sitting outside.
Meet their needs. Be who they need you to be. Not who you think you should be.
So here is the second fold of my plea.
If you, yourself are scared to pull back your curtain and allow another in. This is for you.
There are those out there. Those you can trust. They will walk with you and help you see God’s love. Christ’s sacrifice. The Spirit’s Truth.
I promise that no burden is too heavy to share. I can assure you that if you poured it all out. No burden, no shame will overwhelm.
That shame, that burden, that pain would no longer be yours.
Christ has captured it in his sacrifice. Now it is time for you to confide. Time for you to realize that you are scratching and clawing to hold onto brokenness that is not yours to hold.
In love my dear friends. Do not think less of yourself. Just think of yourself less.
There is Selfless Love to be found even in our Loveless Self.
I love you all dearly and am here if you are ready to let your story unfold.