Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Tinted Purple

The church congregation I serve is tinted purple.  This is also true of my personal friends if I were to bunch everybody together in one place. People are all over the map on all kinds of issues including who should be president.  People I love. This is a push-me-pull-you experience revealing idealism of all kinds.  While I'm known to hum a tune of optimism on occasion, I'm fairly clear-eyed when it comes to people.  Maybe it comes from having a brilliant, loving dad whose mind imploded in a haze of schizophrenia even as he exploded in violence against my mother, the woman he loved.  I was 4 years old. Regardless, I'm clear-eyed as much as that's possible in the shadow of being human.

So, here's my plan over the coming days and weeks. I'm going to continue to do the hard work of loving people - distraught people, jubilant people, and everyone in between.  I'm going to speak up when someone hurts someone else. I'm going to celebrate when someone loves someone else in selfless ways.  I'm going to do these things because I'm a Jesus person which also means that I'm a person of the cross. The cross and Jesus' death on it means that we're inclined to hang out in dark places, saving ourselves as we dehumanize someone else.  I dare say that this is true for all of us including me.  I hear it in the ways people ridicule the Clinton supporters and the Trump base.  I hear it in people's fear for themselves, other people, the country, and the world.

And so, my friends, I will love you through your biography, not your ideology. And I will love others in the hard, bitter, purple-tinted shadow of the cross. Because I have a God who did not raise a hand in violence against the people God so loves. God who loves people, each person, and asks us to do the same.

"No one has great love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." - John 15:13