I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A choice.

I can’t get the following words that Jesus said out of my head lately, “..’You shall love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “ -Matthew 22:37-39

This is something I try daily to instill into my son. He’s four, granted, but there’s a lot one can teach a four-year-old….and there’s also a lot a four-year-old can teach us. Anyhow, I’ve been deeply disturbed lately. Because I’ve been trying to make sure my son “gets it”. You know, that he understands that over and over and over and over again in the Scriptures, we’re taught to love one another. We’re taught to love one another, regardless of what people look like, what income they have, how old they are, and whether they are family, friends, enemies, or strangers……we’re taught to love. Repeatedly, we’re taught to love. And Jesus even spoke of the importance of this. I guess I’m disturbed because it’s a pretty sobering thought to realize that I’m teaching my son to love EVERYBODY….and I know full well that the world he is a part of is FULL of so much hate. Hate, that is…not just in the “world”….but in the church as well.

I mean come on, let’s be honest. I’m sure as you read this you can think of several people who have NOT shown love to you, and I’m sure you can think of several people that you have NOT loved. We were created----every single person that has breath in their bodies-----were created in His image. What I’ve seen throughout my life, though, is that it gets pretty easy to look at an individual, or a group of individuals, and forget their humanity. It becomes easy for some people to forget that the person or people they are hating are HUMAN. And once you stop seeing any individual as a human, as someone’s son or daughter, as someone’s husband or wife, as someone’s brother or sister…..it’s easier to stop loving them. And especially when people hurt us, right? It’s VERY easy to loathe those who hurt us, or those who hurt our loved ones. And oh, how we can find any little excuse to hate……”But what they did was evil….they haven’t changed…..they’ve done this over and over again…..they never have apologized…….”. But we forget those words of His….”Love your enemies..”. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we are to be doormats and enable those we love to step all over us, because that is NOT love, when we constantly let others abuse us in anyway, that is a perversion of love…..that’s a whole other subject.)

And yes, I know I’m being very preachy……..with good reason. I have seen so much hate in the church, it’s pathetic. I have seen those who are called to walk in love instead walk in hate, and judge others constantly. I see it in those who are not part of the church. I used to see that in myself. I still see it almost everyday. Why is it so hard for humans to love one another?

Someone told me a story the other day about how her husband has experienced racism many times by others, and even lost his job, because he is Hispanic. In America. In the year 2009. Seriously? I have never been able to wrap my mind around treating a person differently because they look different than I do. It’s baffling. And it’s pretty pathetic. I know of a person who has been told the most hate-filled jokes regarding racism during Sunday School. In the HOUSE OF GOD. I have heard Christian people tell the most racial, vulgar jokes regarding our President's race in the last several months.......Why is it easy for us to hate one another? She hates him because he's not the "right" political party. He hates them because they're too "liberal". They hate those other guys because they're covered in ink head to toe. She hates her because she's jealous. He hates them because the lifestyle they live is just wrong. They hate the other guys because they're not in agreement about abortion, or gay rights, or healthcare.....And the hate goes on and on until a Doctor is shot. Or someone is attacked at a town hall meeting. Or someone's dignity is stripped away. Or a relationship is shattered. Or a war is started. Why is hate spread so much quicker than love?

We have a choice to make. Everyday, with how we treat one another. With the very words we use or don’t use with one another. With how we treat our spouses, our children, our friends, our enemies…..we have a choice. Pro-life means so much more than what many think. Pro-life means pro-HUMANITY. It means loving every person that draws breath into their lungs. It means loving those who disagree with us on every single issue. It means loving those who are VERY hard to love. It means loving those that Jesus gave his very life for.....which was everybody. We can bring about His Kingdom while walking in love for one another, or we can surely bring about Hell while walking in hate. What choice will we make?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please - not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough of him to make me love a foreigner or pick beets with a migrant worker. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of a womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I'd like to buy $3 worth of God, please."

-Wilbur Rees-