I am having the worst time ever, trying to figure out how we went from “I stand in solidarity with those who experienced the most horrific thing ever so I’m changing my FB profile picture to the French flag” to “close the boarders, batten down the hatches, and imprison all the people.” It’s like, on the one hand, humans are good and empathetic and optimistic and then on the other, they aren’t.
I ache a little (okay, more than a little) at the idea that there are Humans Worthy of My Compassion and then there are Humans That Are Not. When did we draw those lines? How did we decide that those who wear head coverings or flee opportunistic, dictatorial governments or full on, flat out terrorists aren’t worthy of our love? (And I wonder a little: for whom, am I unworthy? Are there folks out there that are like, “oh no…she’s a Caucasian, middle-aged female…she should probably be strip-searched, spat upon, and followed with suspicion. And if she asks you, for just a little bit of hope, tell her she’s trash or accuse her of being the worst of humanity.”)
With a small-group in the church I serve, I’m reading 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. In it she says: “We’ve invented a thousand shades of gray, devising a comfortable Christian existence we can all live with – super awesome, except the Bible doesn’t support it.” I mean, my God. You think?
You think when Jesus said, “love God,” he actually meant, “love only your understanding of God and hate…like hate with machine guns and hand grenades…any understanding that doesn’t line up with yours”?
You think when Jesus said, “love your neighbor,” he actually meant, “but just the neighbors who look and speak and act like you…and the other ones, not so much.”
You think when Jesus said, “love your enemies,” he actually meant, “but really just the easy enemies…like that ‘witch’ who cuts you off every. single. day at the school pick up line. You can love her. But the other ones, are too hard.”
And maybe when Jesus said, “repent,” he didn’t actually mean YOU.
When Jesus said, “be reconciled,” he surely couldn’t have known that our lines-in-the-sand, would be this deep, right? Right?
And when Jesus said, “feed my sheep,” maybe he just meant “feed my sheep when you’ve finished gorging yourself.” That makes more sense.
There are hearts breaking all over the place. Babies dying. Partners who woke us yesterday and the day before with empty pillows beside them. And then some, with no beds to hold their pillows, at all. Mothers who wonder how the heck, they might celebrate Christmas this year. Friends who get ready to text their bestie, only to remember.
Maybe the least we could do, is say that compassion and love and light have no limits. That we have enough to go around. That Jesus’ mandates actually mean something. And then act like it.
I don’t know. Just throwin’ words on paper. Because I’m having the worst time ever, trying to figure it all out.