I don’t know much, but here is what I believe: Everyone loves people. Those who don’t think they love people are reacting out of a hurt space. For they were betrayed by those who did not have integrity with their own feelings of love in their heart (due to being hurt themselves). I sincerely believe there is no one in the world who, at their core, does not love people. He who died on a cross, put to death despite his innocence, demonstrated what our lack of recognition for the love in our hearts can do to our own innocence. He, who I name but briefly because he gave up his personality for a greater cause, demonstrated a story that was taking place in His time and still continues to take place in ours.
A Path To Perfection
Based on the book we all at least know of, Jesus says perfection is being no respecter of persons; loving your enemies and friends alike.
This perfection is demonstrated on the cross. Jesus feels possibly what could have been the worst feeling he ever felt– and I’m not talking about nails in his hands or feet, or thorns (pesky things they are) upon his head. I’m talking about losing all guidance and reason for living. How do I know this? Because the man walked with God his entire life. So much so, that he was known unto himself and to others as the Son of God. And he knew God to be a good Father who would never abandon his children.
Imagine what it would be like to have all you ever knew ripped out of you–all identity, all security, all purpose, all guidance and direction while going through a time of great physical suffering. I’m sure you would, and he did, cry out:
It would have been easy in that moment to look down on all of those staring up at him, condemning him to a seeming certain death, and hate them. But no. Instead he says:
The Extent of Our Ignorance
Are we still ignorant? Do we still not know what we do? Rah! I’m pressed to say yes, but why?
I can talk about the false light of order upheld by the systems we found ourselves born into that disregards our humanity for the sake of mammon, that is, money. I can talk about plausible deniability: we can’t fix what we don’t know is broken. But I am saying these excuses are no longer enough.
For while many Christians look back to a messiah nailed to a cross 2,000 years ago (The image of innocence in the hands of a world taken up by fear and ignorance) there is a failure to acknowledge the martyrs whose blood soak the soil we walk upon today. Those innocent hung by a gross and oppressive desire for freedom and individuality through the seizure and ownership of resources that are inherently abundant and free to all.
Indigenous populations, children, women, people of color, yes, even the alphabet mafia (LGBTQIA). All innocent, because they are all children. We are all children living the best way we know how. Our homeless brothers and sisters on the streets who do not have a place to rest their head. Our brothers and sisters who seek refuge from militant governments. Our hungry. Our needy. Those imprisoned for whatever reason. Those in illness. The forgotten. All of them are Christ Crucified.
Who Are You, Really?
While you are busy worshipping a man who lived 2000 years ago, thinking you would be one of those beloved women mourning at his public execution, or one of the disciples who fled for safety from impending persecution, I can tell you: what you do, in the face of the needy, in the face of the oppressed is exactly what you would do, in the face of the Messiah on that cross. For, among other things, He lived so plainly just so there would be no mistake about this world and its ways.
Do you see your brothers and sisters when you look into the eye of the needy, or do you imagine yourself some superhero, or someone above it all? It’s funny, because someone who could have easily seen himself above you, refused to. Because that is not love, my friends. It never has been.
More Hard Words
Why are you so dull to your own heart?
For surely, the Source of Life themself inscribed something upon it. The gospel is not about how good you can make yourself to pass some test. It is about actually being a human. Being kind to each other. Treating one and loving one as you would yourself, because you are of the same kind. Get it? Do you think it was cool that Jesus could heal the sick? Make an ear or an arm grow again? Do you know Jesus scoffed at those who believed that miracles is what it took to be a savior. Signs and wonders. It’s not some race to be won, or some performative act or miracle. I don’t care what Paul says. Warmonger that he was. We are done with that.
For like Paul, we too have been warmongers, but are called to peace. True peace. Can you look upon each other in kindness no matter how different you may seem? Can you lend a helping, non-judgmental hand if you have the resources to do so? I do not care what name you are calling. What spirit are you carrying? What does your inner direction tell you?
In spirit and in truth our Father works. Not in name dropping. I don’t care what bible verse you have to combat this simple epistle. Because if you have an inclination to combat this, then you are missing the point. It is an intent in your heart to deny justice that is merciful and brings true salvation, for the sake of justifying actions and trying to make the risen, living Christ bend to your own will. This, my love, will not work out for you in the end.
That much I do know.