Starting this came about because I got tired of perfection-based christianity. Not that God had anything to do with that – but it’s the direction a lot of Christians drift towards. They claim to love imperfect people, to want to help them come out of their mess and into a life with God. But they shy away from being REAL with each other. EVERYONE struggles..at some time..with some thing…but some try to push that down into the darkness, covering it up with memorized bible verses and Sunday attendance records. It does no good there. There is no change there. ADMIT when you mess up! We love you more for it. ADMIT when you are wrong! We love you more for it. But most of all, quit trying to be someone else’s version of you. Quit presenting yourselves as a higher order to be attained by the hard-working, self-deprecating masses. You are not anything more special than anyone else. My husband has a T-shirt that says “I’m just a beggar, telling another beggar where to find bread.” Beggars, quit wearing purple robes to hide your tattered clothing. We see right through it anyway…
And, it helps me to get it out, even if no one ever reads it…
Guess I’m going sort of out of order here. Let me rewind to yesterday’s class. We had a great day. I asked B. to come talk to the class about her mission trip to Panama. She’s an awesome young lady and has such a heart for following God. We usually combine the 2nd/3rd grade class with the 4th/5th grade class for Praise & Worship, then separate for the rest of the lesson. We stayed together on Sunday so everyone could hear her testimony and see her pictures. The picture of the wild monkey was overwhelmingly the favorite. She’s smart – she mentioned early in her talk that there would be a pic. of a monkey for them to see so they held on pretty tightly, not wanting to miss it. 🙂 Salvations? yeah, ok..where is the monkey? Selflessly following the Lord? yeah, ok..where is the monkey? It was kind of funny actually. Not that they were saying it out loud, but I’m guessing a few were thinking it.
The talk went longer than we had planned, and the kiddos got a little restless, so after the young-uns went to their class, I took the 4th/5th graders outside and they ran around the parking lot a few times, got some energy out. Then, since it was such a beautiful day, we finished our lesson outside in the grass. It was such a great time. So peaceful. I think they were nervous to break the mood, or that if they acted up we wouldn’t get to come outside again…but all 27 kids were attentive, respectful and just awesome. We talked about the importance of the bible, how it is inspired by God and accurate historically, prophetically and all the other “ally”‘s. We tied it in to B’s Mission trip talk by discussing what the bible says is our purpose here, to SHARE the good news. To tell people about God. But, not to get in their face and say “you’re goin’ to HELL!”…but to reach out and fill their needs FIRST, offer them a helping hand FIRST, listening to them and being their friend FIRST. Showing them the love of God through your actions, not your words. And being a REAL friend – not just trying to add notches to your “salvation” belt.
I sometimes think people have gotten so lazy. They want to talk..or type a blog..about their good intentions and desired servitude.But who is actually out there LIVING Jesus’ instructions? “Forward this email, you’ll save a life”…”Sign this petition for someone somewhere to be spared the death penalty”…it’s easy to sit in front of a computer and desire to be a catalyst in our world. It’s hard to get up, turn your computer off and walk out the door BEING it.
I attended a funeral today. A co-worker was ill with the flu, then was better..then wasn’t…then had a heart attack. He was 52. And one of the most generous and optimistic people I know. Typical conversation:
Me: “Hey B, you know that super important data you needed to release the rail-car’s million dollar load? Umm..the data was bad”
B: “Hmm..ok that’s not great..but ok” and he would smile.
I wish I could be more like that, not let things take my joy so much, stay on that “even keel”. I’m blessed to have known someone like him. The father/pastor/priest (I don’t know the Catholic terms) said in one of the prayers “And may he be judged mercifully by Jesus”. I like that “judged mercifully”. I never thought to ask for mercy on someone’s soul. Either they were saved and were “in” or they weren’t and they were “out”. That THEY make that choice while they are here..that there is nothing for me to do on their behalf once they are gone. I forget the whole..standing in front of the gates and accounting for everything..thing. So today my prayer is that his soul IS judged mercifully, as merciful as he was to everyone he encountered while he was here. Do I want to be judged the way that I judge here? Absolutely not. Now..off to work on being kinder and less quick to cut. Empathetic and compassionate. Patient and joyful.