Saturday, August 26, 2017

Love and Compassion to Allen, South Dakota

There's a lot of talk about what divides us in this country right now. In all of the kneeling, statue-toppling, marching, and raised-fist chanting I see no evidence of anyone drawing closer together. Meanwhile the sun still rises in the East and falls in the West, just like it did the first day that God hung it all in the vastness. It casts shadows on us all and we all live by its light. 

There is a certain goodness in opening your hand to help another. It's a sort of unintentional turning away from the inward prison of self to find the wide-open freedom of walking a common path. We are never at our best when we're thinking selfishly. The best of our nature shines when we lay down entitlement, release our tight grip on what we think we deserve, and we risk ourselves with vulnerability to others. 

We are none of us so special that we stand above the worst of us, and there are none of us so depraved that our lives don't merit worth. We place far too much value on circumstance. Our reactions somehow become our masters as we surrender our ability to retain our identity when threatened. We are created to be more than that.

There is something deep inside of each of us that can only be healed when we help others. A word of caution though... a sterile, safe kind of helping won't work. When you get down into the muck of helping others, you somehow find yourself there. You recognize needs in you that you didn't even know you had that are being filled. You and I have the ability to receive healing as we find our willingness to heal others.

This next week a small group from Connection Point Church will get to do just that. We're not a band of missionaries so much that we are one group of people who are going to intersect with another group of people... all who are broken and all who are created to live in fellowship with God and each other. 

What we're created to do isn't so mysterious. We're created to be loved by God, love God, and love others. The challenge is that we don't understand love. We buy into a distorted comprehension. 

No more. You and I have the ability to give freely to those who demand unjustly. We have the ability to listen compassionately to those who shout vile words. We can be calm souls in masses of chaos. No matter how depraved we view others, we can be at peace because of the Spirit of God that is within us. It is His occupancy within us that provides us worth, informs our movements, and helps us to see the worth of others.

And so, whether you're going out to South Dakota or you're going out to your local supermarket... you have a choice. Today will you be a divider or are you willing to risk yourself a bit and to reach out? Give anyway. Love anyway. Live at peace as you find your identity in your relationship to the divine, rather than by the fury that spins from East to West.

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