Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Inclusivity of God's Love

Today I was with someone who is strange.  This person speaks about murdering, embarrassing people, humiliating people who hurt him, playing violent and destructive pranks on people, sexually explicit experiences, and many other inappropriate topics.  As I drove home post session I reflected about the things I heard and the person who I had spent this time with.  I thought, how was I able to withstand that?  I thought, years ago I would never have been able to do that and actually be ok and feel close to God afterward.  I would have carried this person's perversity and pain away with me and then continued to carry it until it produced so much stress that I would have had my own stress crisis. I also would have judged that person and closed my heart with judgment off to seeing through the person's defenses to the fear smothered person hiding behind.  Today I felt love.  I felt compassion.  I saw a person, broken by biology, broken by environment, broken from birth, attempting to communicate what is impossible for  this person to communicate.  I had to look beyond the presentation to the message hidden away in the words.  What was this person trying to say?  What is he trying to communicate through his twisted words?  What does he need me to hear?  I had to believe, know that there is someone hidden away inside that is human and tender and needs love, acceptance, and understanding.  I had to know this and not be told this by this person.  I had to disregard the presentation (to a certain extent), in order to reach the hidden brokenness and needs.  I had to see the miraculous in this attempt to communicate.  I had to hear God directing me though such broken words.

I am convinced that Gods love is inclusive.  Now dont take that so far as to include sin because that is not true but I am convinced that when God sees each one of us He looks on us with love and longing.  Maybe thats just my experience in Christ.  I know before I was in Christ I felt excluded from Gods love and outside His attention.  Its like the perspective one would have when not having been invited inside an exciting social spot versus someone who is inside enjoying the party.  Things seem to make a lot more sense once we have the full experience of inside versus outside.  When I was outside of Gods family I felt alone, hollow, isolated, futureless.  I did not tell anyone that but down deep I knew it.  I wanted someone to see me, someone to hear my message behind the presentation I gave.

It takes time, patience, self-sacrifice to listen to people....really listen.  It takes emotional boundaries to hear pain and not carry it away with you but people are craving, yearning for another soul to come alongside them and really care...care enough to invest themselves in waiting and listening and hearing the words a person is trying to say even if its not obvious.  God wants to teach each one of us to love.  Love beyond the sight of our eyes and the understanding of our hearts and the limits of our experiences.  God wants to show us that our definition of love can expand to include whomever He sends us.

Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes."

There is room in God's house for all who will come.  The beautiful, the ugly, the rich, the poor, the fortunate and unfortunate, the intelligent and those who are of little intelligence, the functional and the dysfunctional.  See it doesn't matter how we come.  Gods going to rebuild us anyway once we get there to His house.  

Isaiah 54:11“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones."

Halleluia!  God's love in Christ is amazing!  Father I pray you would help each one of us to be filled with your Spirit that our minds would be renewed and our hearts empowered to love as You would love each person You send to us.  Give us your sight to see as You see and your ears to hear the message of the hurting and broken and lost of this world Lord.  In Jesus's name, Amen.

Look Upon The Lord, Kari Jobe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9fkUnFlNho