Every once in a while I’m confronted to look hard… to listen well… to ponder.

One of the things that saddens me is the widening polarization I see all around us… Liberal versus Conservative, Democrat versus Republican, etc.  Pro this and anti that.  The church itself is splintered in a thousand ways, some struggling to have honest conversations about very difficult subjects, others wrapped in certainty.

I love to be sure about things.  It gives me something to hang on to.

But the more I learn to love God, to desire to follow Jesus, to be aware of the Created earth, filled with the glory of God, the more I realize I don’t know.  God is far greater than any box I’ve ever concocted, and full of mystery.  

In the book of Job, God speaks after Job cries out, and Job 38 is a beautiful poetic reflection of the vastness of God.  One small example from verses 34-35:

 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
    and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are? (God speaking to Job).

No, I can’t.  

Part of faith is trusting in God who sees a much larger picture.

In these times of passionate debates, of swirling opinion, of cries for justice and mercy, I hear voices wanting to be heard.  Can we listen?

I was saddened this past week to hear of a pastor who became an abuser, and the church protected him.  This made me angry, and so it should.

The church at large (across many denominations) unfortunately has a history of violence from historic times until now.   It is no wonder many are disillusioned.  There should be no place for abuse, or protecting those who abuse.

I’m also reminded, wounded people wound people.  I am capable of this, and one of my prayers is that I would not get in God’s way or bring harm… to anyone!  

Woundedness of course is a human problem.  Christians are not exempt.  

How do we bring healing to the wounded?  

I believe hearing their stories is a good start.  To understand my own story, my triggers, helps me understand myself.  This also gives me the tools of compassion to understand others, without judgement.  

I keep going back to the words of Jesus who said: “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)  We need to pay attention when love is lacking.

What does a Christian look like?  I hope and pray it is the face of love.  We also do well to heed the commands of Jesus who took all the law into these simple directives:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbour as yourself.”

Life is messy.  I’m grateful to follow God who chose to be one of us, who promises to dwell within our hearts.  I don’t have to know how lightening bolts work, or understand the miracle of a butterfly or bee in flight.  I can simple respond with love, and faith, and a thankful heart

Love is a choice.  It is a directive.  It is a way of life.  God is love.  

May we be known by love.

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