Monday, March 19, 2012

Love Does NOT Exclude

As a mother, I have learned so much about life. Life is like a puzzle. Sometimes things just don't make sense. When you are a mother, you can sense your children and their distress. You may not know why, but you know when something just isn't right. Then smack!!! Some piece of the puzzle is revealed and it all makes perfect sense.   

Yesterday, while sitting in church listening to my pastor (who happens to be gay), I had an epiphany, or realized something I hadn't before, and now God's love makes perfect sense. The sermon, about how God's love is so great he gave his greatest treasure to die for our sins so we can have a relationship with God. God's love is unconditional, much like a mother's love, but maybe even greater than that. But the thing some self-righteous Christians don't get, is that God's love does not exclude anyone, no matter their "sin" or YOURS.  We shouldn't diminish God's gift by excluding people because they are not like us.

I point out that my pastor is gay, because my church is not a typical Christian church, even though those who attend are Christians, which only means they believe in Jesus Christ. Most that go to my church believe that the bible is not to be taken literally word for word, and sin is what separates us from God. They are "free-thinkers." They believe that what is important is the relationship with God, not whether you are a good or bad person, and that we are all imperfect. My pastor basically pointed out in her sermon that we are NOT here to point out the bad we see in others. God loves us all, with ALL of our imperfections and he wants us to love each other that way too. He tried to show us how deeply he loves us and how important it is for us to love one another in sending his son. A parent's love is the only love that can come close to the unconditional love that God has for us, and still doesn't quite compare.

I believe that sin against others only makes more sin against others, against others, and still others. Whether it be a hate crime against a gay person, a harsh word, a violent fist fight, beating your wife or child, sexually abusing someone, or lying; all these things and more bad bring more negativity to this world because it hurts others and then most of those hurt people act out negatively in retaliation. I believe that we should not point out what is wrong with others. Instead we should love them and build them up, and stop making fun of people and excluding them from your "group" because they are different and instead accept and love them for who they are. We cannot keep harming others to deal with the pain of what we have endured. Instead we must reach out for all the pieces of the puzzle that we may not have to help us learn the compassion that the world is lacking. We must get to know ourselves and the change we can accomplish within ourselves. The more we let go of anger, hatred, jealousy, and all the other negative feelings, and truly let LOVE lead the way we treat others, the more peaceful we are inside ourselves.

I cannot tell you all the reasons I truly believe this, except that my family situation calls for me to forgive something I never thought I could and love someone I thought I would hate. I will do this, because if I don't I will affect not just my life but the lives of many others and those I love most deeply in this world. Hatred and the unwillingness to forgive will only get in the way of the healing that my family so desperately needs. I would die today so that the pieces of my family's puzzle could already be complete and we could be over the hurt, but at least now the edges and some of the middle are filled in. I have to be very patient and strong to be able to complete the rest of the puzzle, and that is why I seek a relationship with God, because He gives me patience, strength, love, comfort, forgiveness, compassion, and wisdom to endure this life. I find God in me and I want the relationship to grow strong because I need it. God's love is the most beautiful love I have ever felt, and with the ugliness of the world, I need beautiful more now than I ever have in my life. I am not here to point out that everyone else needs God, that is for each individual to decide on his/her own. 

And if you think I'm weird or crazy, I love you anyway. Aren't we all weird or crazy or maybe a little of both?