I pray every day that my kids would love well. That they would be includers, fierce lovers of people. I pray that Jesus would help me love well and more and deeper. So often I feel like we are bomarded with disunity in our world and our communities. Instead of loving each other, we are divided over issues that really don’t matter to the kingdom. Instead of judging others for every little choice they make that we don’t agree with, what if we just loved freely, radically and simply??
Every person is not called to the same job, the same ministry, the same walk with Jesus. Every person has a different story, a different path laid out before them. And every.single.person matters to God. He is jealous for them all!! My favorite author Hugh Halter says it like this,
“A point of view is simply a view from a point, and oneness, or unity, can therefore never be based on getting someone to see from your point; instead it is love and unity amid different beliefs. And this is exactly why unity is so powerful. It is almost impossible. And because it is so difficult, Jesus would much prefer we fight for a supernatural form of love and unity instead of fighting against each other or people outside our faith.”
We worry so much about people’s outward lives and even what we see others doing and we fail to really SEE them. A wise pastor I know said the Lord looks at the heart, at the motive, intention, desire, not at the outward appearance. We have to look beyond swear words, beer drinking, tattoos, the way people wear their clothes and dig deeper. He calls us deeper still into love, love, love. For he is a good, good father.
Matt and I drop some swear words here and there. We drink wine and beer and moscow mules. I want a tattoo. We love Jesus with a passionate love that I cannot even put into words. We long to see heaven on earth. We chase after social justice issues like poverty, racism, equality. We long to honor the king with every bit of our life. God has opened our eyes and taught us that it is ok to be who we are. That we don’t have to conform to a certain way of being in order to love him and live for him. This is freedom. Sweet sweet freedom.
Along the journey he has taught us how to love like Jesus does. It’s so easy to get into the habit of forming opinions and biases based on the actions of others. You may see them do something and then they may act another way. It seems they have a lack of integrity. I am not saying this is ok, but I wonder if we go deeper into the story and we see what is revealed to us, if maybe then our eyes are opened to a deeper truth and we can love in greater ways. Every time I ask Jesus about the actions of this person or that person, every time I question how I am supposed to love, he whispers to me in the middle of the night, just love freely, madly, recklessly. He tells me you know how to do this, I have taught you. And he has, he has given me the gift of just genuine pure love for others. An ability to see beyond outward appearances or actions.
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” -Luke 7 34-36
He says that no one is righteous, not even one. And I am far from righteous. I fail all the time. We are human, it’s normal. We are only ok because God’s got our back. And guess what, he’s got your coworkers and your neighbors and your church congregation and all the people in your cities backs too. His love is radical and overwhelming and crazy amazing. It is our gift to be able to go deep and sit in his love. When we abide in HIM, he takes care of it all. He just asks us to love him and love our neighbor. He doesn’t ask us to change their hearts or their actions, he’s got it. Jesus is such good news. He just came and took it all for us on the cross and allows us to live in his love and freedom. He doesn’t require us to do the hard part of being judgy judgers. Just the easy part of loving freely. I am so thankful for this reckless, radical Jesus.
Jen Hatmaker says that Jesus loved the poor, the sick, the powerless, the horrible sinners, the traitors, the scandalous women, the mentally ill, the immigrants. And that he loved them through touch, presence, and proximity. He loved them as friends. Not as a project, not a charity case, not through exploitation. He didn’t have an angle. It was just straight Jesus love. He elevated their voices and stories, their equality and fairness.
My prayer is that we would all love each other so much, with such audacity, that the whole world couldn’t help but know Jesus.