Questions that need answers, that’s what is on my mind today. I feel like I need to talk it out, so today you are my dear, trusted friend with whom I will be vulnerable. It’s a little scary because I’m sure that some of you feel strongly on both sides of this topic and I’m honestly not sure what conclusion – if any – I’ll come to at the end of this. I apologize if I’ve blogged about this before, but I can’t promise it won’t come up again!
Let me back up here and see if I can lay out the dominoes of my thoughts so we can start from the same place. I found out recently that an acquaintance of mine “unfriended” me on facebook because she knows that I’m a Christian and she wanted to protect herself from anything offensive or hurtful that I might say about same sex marriage. She hopes to someday be able to marry the woman that she loves. When I first found out that she felt this way about me I was hurt. Am I so insensitive? Do I use my facebook as a platform to shake my fist at people? Because I would a thousand times rather use it as a way to love people that I wouldn’t get a chance to otherwise. Then I thought back to the night before…
Walking on the crowded Vegas strip in a sea of faces, lives, hopes, fears…my heart was overwhelmed. Sure, there were likely Christians in the mix who, like myself, were enjoying the family-friendly side of Vegas, but the majority were likely those looking for a different kind of good time. In the midst of all these thoughts we came across a street preacher. My first thought was that I would feel a connection with him and the couple of people there with him. After all, this guy was giving up his time to reach the lost and (I imagine) facing quite a bit of ridicule in order to reach out to a lost and hurting world. Then the crowd parted enough for me to read their signs and my heart dropped. What kind of person identifies themselves with Jesus and uses that kind of language about the people He died for? Gross. He may have been an extreme, but I don’t think it’s too far off from how a lot of people view Christians. So I guess it makes sense that someone would expect to, at some point, be offended by me.
These two experiences have once again brought to the surface the thing my heart longs to know beyond the shadow of a doubt: What did Jesus’ life look like on a day to day basis? Did He confront sin? Absolutely!! And He didn’t mince words according to some of the encounters we have record of. (I wanted to call that “street preacher” a brood of vipers myself, after all, it’s totally Scriptural, right?) Did He infuriate others by not acknowledging sin in some situations? Oh yes. To the extent that one man had the audacity to think “if this man were really a prophet…”. Ouch.
In order to really see the heart of God in this I’ll have spend more time with Him and reading from the wonderful book He gave us. At this point I feel a constant conflict and I question myself. There is no excuse for sin in my life. There is no reason to expect anything else from someone who is not yet saved. God is love. God is holy. Someone very dear to me thinks I’m judgmental. I thought if I was in error it would be on the side of not dealing as harshly with sin as God does, am I seeing a totally distorted picture of myself? Yuck, too much looking inward is happening here.
I guess I’m still where I started, and that is knowing these two things –
-In each and every situation I need to listen for what the Father is saying and do only that. Moment by moment, abiding so closely in Him that wisdom, truth, love and justice flow naturally from my lips and deeds in perfect balance.
– It doesn’t matter what I see in other people’s eyes when they look at me. What matters it what I see in God’s eyes…what does He see in me now and in what areas is He calling me to observe about His character so that it can become more of mine.
I’m still searching for a “big picture” kind of answer to these questions in my heart…I would love to hear your insight on this, please tell me I’m not alone in this struggle!