I hate that books like this exist.
and I hate that I saw it in a bookstore and said “yeah, I think this is relevant to my life right now.”
The hurt and pain and anger has slowly started to melt away and I’m stuck thinking about even worse things: forgiveness, redemption, grace… ugh.
On Sunday nights I’ve been attending Imago Dei (my friend Bee calls it the “Blue Like Jazz Church”) and we’ve weirdly been singing that old song that says:
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
and we pray that all unity will one day be restored
and they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
There’s a verse in Romans that says “Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another.”
Scorekeeping is my #1 enemy of love, so let me be clear and say that this debt Paul wrote about isn’t some sort of “I did this for you so now you owe me” mentality. It’s just an expansion of the simple words of Jesus: Love your neighbor as yourself. I like how Paul worded it. The continuing debt to love one another.
The thing is, we often defer this debt when it’s time for us to make a huge payment. We shy away from the difficult, we hide from the grace, we avoid the awkward.
It KILLLLSSSSSSSS me. There is so much beauty in redemption; there is so much joy in reconciliation. I don’t understand the shying, hiding and avoiding. Donald Miller once said,
“Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.”
You know what is boring? Friendships without conflict. Not that I want to fight with my friends all the time, but the Bible says that iron sharpens iron, and that rubbing against is FRICTION and DISCOMFORT and CONFLICT. Yeah I like friends who are warm, but I also want friends that are weighty… remember that post? Some of the greatest, most deep growth in my life has happened in the face of conflict because my true character has been revealed and dealt with.
The thing that usually wounds people is another person’s unwillingness to step into the mess of conflict. I don’t love conflict; if you love conflict maybe you should get some professional help and stay out of my life please. But while I don’t LOVE conflict, I willingly embrace it because I want to look more like Jesus tomorrow than I do today and in order for Jesus to take care of the bad stuff, it has to be out in the open.
We’ve all been wounded and unfortunately we’ve all wounded. I’m praying that God would reveal the people in my life who I have wounded because I’ve done the whole shying, hiding and avoiding thing. People who I might need to buy a coffee for and look them in the eye and say “hey, I am so sorry that I…..”
Jesus calls us to way more than we are currently settling for.
They’ll know we are Christians
by our t-shirts
by our Facebook statuses
by our conservative opinions
by our Sunday morning routines?
by our LOVE.
LOVE for the WOUNDED and most importantly and difficultly, love for the WOUNDERS.
Difficult, but we can do all things through Christ, including loving those who wound.