Jesus calls us to be light. Not to be liked.
The two words may sound the same, and I’ve done my fair share of confusing the two as I seek to be
liked light in my community, but they are different. This side of Glory, they are so very different.
Those of us who long to be more like Jesus and less like us, are also called to a higher standard of caring for one another. Both the other that we know, identify with, and like, as well as the other that we don’t.
I come a little late to this discussion, but I’ve been giving The Pool Party incident a lot of thought. As I’ve wrestled with strong feelings about both sides of the story as it was initially presented in the media, I realized what it comes down to, for me. This is a story about the depth of our willingness to forgive each other and then pursue reconciliation.
And smack-dab In the middle of this whole news story, I find myself faced with the opportunity to, as a fellow writer I deeply admire recently wrote, “stay at the table”. As I read this article by Deidre, over at the Washington Post, I was reminded that we are invited to spread the Good News that Jesus came to restore.
By living that way.
By speaking that way.
And every single time we choose to love, by not engaging in an argument over who is on the right side of fence, and why, Love wins. Each time we lock eyes with the human on the other side of the table and stay in it, determined to find where our humanity intersects with theirs, Love wins.
Call me an optimist, but, I want Love to win.
Ultimately, of course, it does.
But, I’d like to see it win a few times here on this side of Glory, too.
On this side of the fence.
So, with each new conversation about who was where they shouldn’t have been, and when, or who should teach respect and who should learn it, I choose Love.
I choose to remember how many times I made choices that were so very wrong. Yet someone, somewhere, showed me kindness anyway. I choose to recall the times I should have been in control, but wasn’t, and was given grace.
And still are.
I choose to remember that it doesn’t have to be a “they’re wrong” or “we’re right” kind of discussion. It could be, it should be a discussion about how we can love one another better. It can be another golden opportunity to show wonderful kindness, much like we have been shown.
Not a dismissal of sin.
Not an ignorance of peril.
Not a diss of this or that or them.
But Love. And grace.
Like we first understood it, the first time grace was poured out over us and our own mess.
I might not understand the daily perils of being part of this group or that organization, but I surely do know that God’s grace is one wonderful kindness. I’ve experienced it a time or a thousand.
Oh God…let me pass on your wonderful kindness to another.
Help us all to pass it on, one to another.