The time is set, and I am finding it difficult to figure out the words I need to say. The text that follows was originally emailed to a few people in hopes of advice. I have a lot of questions and feelings right now, and I felt like this could make a good blog post as well.
Thanks to the Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook page I read this post for the first time today. I especially loved this section;
"My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you.
Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even [gulp...] hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home.
Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by.
Reach your arm out and put it around them.
And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you lovethem.
If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start.
Every. Single. Time.
Because what you’ll find, and I promise you this, is that the more you put your arm around those that you might naturally look down on, the more you will love yourself. And the more you love yourself, the less need you’ll ever have to find fault or be betterthan others. And the less we all find fault or have a need to be better than others, the quicker this world becomes a far better place to live.
And don’t we all want to live in a better world? Don’t we all want our kids to grow up in abetter, less hateful, more beautiful world?
I know I do"
While I could just say, "This article is meant for those people at Mars Hill" and not apply it to my own life, the truth is sometimes I can be very guilty of what he says in this post towards people from Mars Hill, "You are anti-gay, anti-woman, or anti-whatever?Well I am anti-you" The answer to hate and judgment is not more hate and judgment, and yet I can find myself there way too easily.
Do you feel like you are constantly going in between observing and judgment? Do you ever find it hard to not judge (especially Mark and others like him)? How do you keep yourself from judging? How do we love this way, with people who may attempt to manipulate us? It's such a dangerous place to be, but it feels like the right place to be. I suppose the slippery slope is getting steeper and muddier by the minute over here.
Hopefully all of these thoughts and questions will help me with my, "reconciliation" meeting tomorrow.