Culture

February 17 2011
25

Picture an ocean.
You are standing in the shallow surf, sand pulling out from under your feet as the tide drifts short surges.
You look to your right, then your left, finally turning to take in your entire surroundings;  for as far as the eye can see there are men and woman standing all around you. You are all dressed the same. You are all knee deep in salt water and waiting for a boat. You hear a deep voice whisper in your ear, “Same, same, same. Reach out your arms and don’t speak but say everything. Wait for the roar to die down so that they can hear. This is your rope. This is everyone’s rope. This is My Salvation.”

*****

We toss around words and labels and engage in much finger pointing.

We make sweet little files in our sweet little heads full of index cards where we put tiny snapshots of all the people in our lives and the world at large; and away those souls are filed.
Filed away and the need to see people as human, the need to relate, and love and lift up—is gone.

We know the principles of scripture. We know the vast lists of rights and wrongs and how the One who we follow told us to parcel it all out to loving HIM and loving our brother.

And still we can’t find it in ourselves to LOVE.
To really really love.

We make these rules to what is worthy and worth our love
—like someone likely once told us what was unworthy in us.
We perpetuate the things that have hurt us on a global scale
and the whole world is filled with a repeating of wrongs.

We dig deep our heels into the soil of what is familiar and we structure our hearts around it.  Then the foundation is diseased and honey, oh honey, where do we go from there?
We so desire the feeling of holiness that we grab hold of our “new better way”
and we turn our noses up at those who would differ.
We like to be the only holders of the truth.
We like to say what we don’t like.

We don’t like the blacks.
We don’t like the whites.
We don’t like the gays.
We don’t like the straights.
We don’t like the liberals.
We don’t like the conservatives.
We don’t like the modernists.
We don’t like the fundamentalists.
We don’t like the hippies.
We don’t like the Catholics.
We don’t like the Baptists.
We don’t like the non-denominational folk because heck–those guys won’t even make a decision.

We are steeped in our rightness and the memorable shade of our surroundings.
Hands grip the glue jar and we paste, paste, paste ourselves to all those we see who are similar.
We form pods and swim about in fish schools.

I feel ridiculous. I feel humanities ridiculousness.

I feel the sad sad grief of my own skin and the eyes that I look out through and how these eyes have denied the God-breath in the bodies around me. The eyes that have seen only the things I was entitled to, and not the need of my brother.
The eyes that seek to determine who my brother is and who my brother is not.


I don’t want to preach at you.
I don’t want to alienate anybody.

I want you to know that I love you without words and that you are accepted.

God has breathed life into you and called you worthy of love. God made man and called his creation GOOD.  That doesn’t mean you won’t fall a thousand ways before Tuesday.  That doesn’t mean your heart won’t seek to lead you astray. Your heart and mine.

But we are all here; children–and I’m going to say the most redundant thing anyone has said lately
just because I feel so led to say it.

God loves you. God. loves. the world..
And God told us and showed us how radical His love was.

Read this–and be amazed.

Lets love like that.

25 comments

  1. Frelle

    such sweet words. so much truth. why. why can’t we let go of what we think, what we perceive with our dysfunctional human limitations, of the judgments passed on us and our own worthiness or lack thereof.. I know. I hear you. I came across a quote recently that speaks to this post: “When our minds are no longer fragmented by the illusion of our separation from each other, but healed by the truth of our oneness, we are awakened to a new dimension of compassion” by Marianne Williamson

    Healed by the Truth of our oneness.
    yeah. that.

    That’s how I want to love others.

    Thank you for writing this,so vulnerably, with such an obvious burden, and for giving a space for readers to be vulnerable and talk about it. Love you.

    Reply
    • Sara

      Thank you for reading, sweet friend. I love that quote <3

      Copying it down now.

      –S.S.

      Reply
  2. It’s funny you mention Corinthians 13.

    We all pine to be known, understood. That passage tells us that we already are fully known, and soon we’ll know Christ fully, even face to face.

    You ooze grace, and I’m so thankful for you.

    Reply
    • Sara

      Everytime I read that chapter I’m like, OH YEAH.

      And everything makes sense again.

      (I am so, SO thankful for you)

      –S.S.

      Reply
  3. How complicated we have made it..and yes, we do shelve and then we duct tape those individuals up in nice cardboard boxes so they can never escape our labels written in permanent judgment..b/c somehow what is filed and shelved is easy,is clean.

    Love is messy..it means getting,involved,hurt..it means loving people…for well…people-nothing more,nothing less.

    This love revolution is one that I think God is sewing into broken hearts..one life at a time.
    Beautiful words,Sara, that I can only imagine would bring Jesus to say,

    ” Amen and amen,my child. Go and love them. Love them home….”

    Reply
    • Sara

      “Love Revolution”

      Oh yes.

      YES YES YES.

      –S.S.

      Reply
  4. I have tried 3 times to respond here. This post cuts so deep I can’t even put words to it. Well, I can…..I’m just afraid to.

    The timing of this is apropos! The conviction is so strong that I can’t ignore it! The strring it brings to my soul is like a dance I’ve been wanting to dance for a long time!

    Yet……I’m afraid. To love this way. Those who aren’t perfect. Those who don’t “meet the standards”. Those who can’t or don’t know how to love me back. It’s so crazy! I don’t know how to love……..

    Those. Who. Are. Like. Me.

    I want to. Desperately. I want to. To love so big that I myself can’t even wrap my head around it. Yes.

    But what would the Christians around me, with all their godly wisdom say? That I’m a fool. That I need discernment. That I’m just too young in my walk and I don’t know what I’m doing, loving and accepting these people who aren’t perfect and have made major foul ups in their lives.

    Ohhh, this is gonna take some serious pondering.

    Thank you for writing this.

    Reply
    • Sara

      Oh Rebekah,
      Here is my hand. I want to dance with you.

      We are all fools.
      We all need discernment.
      We are all broken.
      We are all messy and complicated and simple and so different and so very much the same.

      Thank you for reading here, and being so vulnerable and honest.
      Your heart is lovely.

      <3 S.S.

      Reply
  5. lets love that that indeed:)

    ever heard the song breathe deep? it’s pretty much awesome and includes these lyrics:

    Evolutionists, creationists, perverts, slum lords
    Dead-beats, athletes, Protestants and Catholics
    Housewives, neophytes, pro-choice, pro-life
    Misogynists, monogamists, philanthropists, blacks and whites

    Breathe deep
    Breathe deep the Breath of God
    Breathe deep
    Breathe deep the Breath of God

    Jesus loves the pervert and slumlords and me, too. none of us is beyond his grace. thanks for this good word.

    Reply
    • Sara

      I have never ever heard that song but I am looking it up right now.

      None of us are beyond His Grace.
      (that makes my heart turn backflips)

      –S.S.

      Reply
  6. i love this so much. it’s something i struggle with every day. thank you for writing this

    Reply
    • Sara

      Its the ultimate struggle because its the ultimate commandment.

      everything hinges on it.

      Thank you so much for reading—and for journeying with me.

      –S.S.

      Reply
  7. Loving others means I have to come to terms with my sin problem.

    I can love others only to the point that I acknowledge that I am in desperate need of grace. Once I know I am hopeless and helpless without Him, that I can do nothing to save myself, and that but by God’s grace I would be there sitting and wallowing in my sin. It is then when I get a small glimpse of God’s love for me, that I can love others freely.

    It is a struggle because I don’t like the messiness of it all, but it is messy. It is messy because we are messy. Oh, but God loves the messy lot of us. Praise Him!

    Reply
    • Sara

      All I have to say to that is a resounding AMEN <3

      Reply
  8. i love this: same, same, same….

    this to me is grace. xo

    Reply
    • Sara

      i love you, E.

      Reply
  9. Beautiful. Taking a moment to let it sink into my joints now.

    Reply
    • Sara

      I think love-soaked joints are beautiful.

      Reply
  10. Sara

    ……although that sounds amazingly weird :D

    Reply
  11. People read the Love chapter at weddings…as a new Christian and hopeless romantic, I thought of it only in terms of how much my future beloved would adore me…it was quite an epiphany for me when I first realized that the chapter wasnt written just for lovers, it was written to tell us how to deal with EVERYONE.

    So how do we live this out? badly most of the time, but we each do have our triumphs…

    Yea, Im a Conservative Catholic Christian mom…if I do or allow certain things I risk chastisement from my tribe…but I disagree that we were meant to cocoon ourselves into safe pods of Christianity…we were called to go OUT into the world and be salt and light…

    When my oldest son was about 14 he wanted an eyebrow piercing…he fulfilled allt he requirements I set to get it and then it was time to follow through. We ended up on the wrong side of the tracks in the dark on a Saturday night going into a tatoo/piercing place where we were met by a large guy whose tshirt said “I will see you in Hell”. We went in with the attitude that we were guests and should be polite…not holier-than-thous who would look down their noses and explain to all of them why they are wrong/doomed. We lied about son’s age and set out to stick big needles in him.

    We engaged the “Hell” man in conversation and my son and I spoke freely of faith issues (and whether or not Father M would let him serve Mass with piercings)…by the time we left, they had all melted a bit and Mr Hell shared how he got to this place in life and part of his faith journey. When we got in our car I said “Jesus doesnt dwell there and those with Him in them dont visit often…they are Matthew the tax collector and we will now storm heaven with prayers for their eventual conversions”. Conversion is very often a slow process of planing seeds that are later watered by others.

    We showed love and respect for Mr Hell and his colleagues. We lived the love chapter if only for a bit.

    That night I broke many of the good mommy rules of the “how to keep your child so safe that they barely live” book….and yet I felt like it was one of my biggest parenting successes.

    Reply
  12. Sara,
    Such challenging words, but words we all need to hear again and again.

    Reply
  13. this… this is all sorts of love and beauty. can you even begin to imagine what it will be like one day when we’re out of this ridiculous place and love is the only thing we know how to be and do? i imagine all our souls will sigh with a “finally.”

    Reply

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