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To See Is To Love

Oh me.  Another night of propaganda from an agenda focused Christian. It hurts my heart, truly.  Can you guess what religious agenda I’m referring to? There are probably only a handful of them.

The marquee sin folks.  Let’s put it this way rather, the “marquee” sin. Because really it’s not marquee.

I am referring to homosexuality.  I was reminded that few sins are so bad as to be called an abomination.  It made me wish I remembered the verse that lists about 8 other common sins – not so segregated, pinpointed, judged and despised – that are indeed called abominations.

Ugh. I can’t really defend my position or reason with my propagandist either because I can tell when a person is so blinded by religion and rules, so ingrained in perception and opinion, that they cannot receive an opposing view.  Only faith is flexible, only love lubricates, to enable movement like brave steps out of the confinement of rigidity that people lock themselves into.

On my drove home from this discouraging interaction, listening to the radio with a scattered mind, a voice spoke through,or  rather bored through my thoughts.  I love it when this happens.  It is totally superimposed, audible and clear in my mind’s ear, and I know it’s more than me.  It said, “How can you love me if you can’t even see me?”

Wow. Is this the voice of the shunned and judged homosexual, asking Christians (who say they love all people, who “love the person but hate the sin”) in painful honesty:

How can you love me? You can’t even see me. You only see my behavior.  You see what I do, and think that’s all that I am. How can you love someone you cannot see? You don’t see my heart, my thoughts, my likes. My contributions, my passions, my quirks. My personality, my brokenness, my potential. You know nothing of me.  Just my sin.  

Or was that arrow-driven phrase the voice of God? God asking people, “How can you love me when you can’t even see me?”

Double wow.  How can we love God, who is invisible, when we can’t even see (let alone love) people who are right in front of us, tangible, in the flesh, touchable, knowable, interactive?

How many believers rock out on Sunday with arms raised to Jesus, yet Monday through Saturday hold their arms out to keep others at bay (sinners, don’t mingle with them lest you be like them), or cross their arms in closed body language.

Eek.

Some time ago, whether before I knew Christ for real, or after, I know not, but some time ago, I read a verse that packed a powerful punch to what judgment may have been floating around me or attaching to me at the time.  It also shattered any future judgement like shards of glass with no possible recovery to ever be rebuilt again. It wasn’t even the whole verse, just the first part:

“Jesus looked at him and loved him…” (Mark 10:21 NIV)

I know that because God is love, that he loved this man.  But I also know that God saw this man, really, truly, deeply saw this man.  He had an interest in this guy. He liked him.  He probably laughed at some of his quirks and loved to just hang out with him. He knew the man’s humanity, the good and the bad. He understood the man’s history, cared enough to piece together all the things that made him who he was in that moment.  He saw the man, past, present, and future, and he LOVED him. Just by looking at him, he loved him.  And by ‘seeing’ him, on a deeper level of understanding and appreciation, he loved him.

We are so supposed to be like Jesus in this.  Made in His image, we should look at people physically and love them right off the bat.  We should also “see” people on a deeper level, and love them.  When we see a person, our heart should stir on some level if indeed the love of Christ is born in us.  It is only a natural overflow. Yes, our love will be small in comparison to God’s, our ‘seeing’ others physically and insightfully will be imperfect, but the spark should still be there. Ignition should happen when the eyes of a child of God, with love in their chest at the core of their being, should fall upon the sight of another human being.

And if we profess to love God, then we should also see him for who he really is: utterly open-handed, arms wide open to the world.  God is a reacher of humanity.  A friend of sinners.  He walks with people and gets to know them.  In the context of relationship and love, he teaches them, and he looks at them and is so filled with love, so stirred and brimming and impassioned for the one as well as the many.

God is love.  As he is, so he does.  And so should those of us who have that awe-inspiring mystery of mysteries abiding within us, God in us, and therefore Love in us.

 “My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.” I John 3:18

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About Sara Newbury

God. People. Relationships. Community. Thinking. Being. Kindness. Love. Cats. Poetry. Writing. Drums. Piano. Culture. Laughter. Diversity. ~ these would be the tags in the blog of my life.

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