Sunday, August 14, 2005

More Like Christ

Natala shared an incredible story about her friend Marie. It is an 8 part story and part 1 begins here. If you haven't read it, you may want to before you read my post which is quoted from part 8.

Natala does an incredible job of explaining how we put on religious lenses and no longer really love the way Jesus would. When we see ourselves as separate, and view the lost as a project, a mission, we have hindered our ability to truly love them.

I've posted this all here to remind myself to take off those tinted glasses so that I can really see people and truly care about them whatever their condition is.

she would have done anything for me.
and the truth is that before i was a christian i would have done anything for her.

i became saved, i started to go to church
i should have been the one that was like christ.
no longer was i close to her, i backed away from her instead,
no longer did i cry with her, i prayed for her salvation instead,
no longer did i spend hours talking to her, i talked about her to my bible study instead.
no longer did i write long thought out e-mails to her, i put her on prayer chain instead.
no longer did i trust her with things about my life, i deemed her of the world instead and unworthy of knowing my deepest thoughts because how could a crack addict understand my love of god?

i was more christ like when i was not going to church,
and when i wasn't a christian.
i didn't judge people then,
i didn't categorize everyone else as a sinner, and then pray for them, while slowly backing away.
when we were in college, i saw marie as my equal, and as my friend i didn't see any difference between her and i. and when i started the church thing i changed.
i could not be in the world, that's what they told me over and over.

during college i loved marie, unconditionally, i loved her because she was a beautiful person, who was my friend.
after i became a member of the salvation club, i loved the sinner, but hated the sin, and that just meant that i was not a good friend to her.
that simply meant, i backed away, and i became less and less christ like, the more and more i prayed, went to church, read the bible, and lead a bible study.
the less christ like i became.

when she died, i was so angry, because god had not given me the chance to really witness, that's the way i thought god worked.
and after her death, the church told me:
"all you had to do was plant the seeds"
"she knew the truth because of you"
"you showed her god's love"

but i never did. i never loved her the way christ would have, i never simply listened and loved her, with out hoping to get something from her.
telling her about god, and the love of god was not because of how much i loved marie, it was not because i desperately wanted her to experience the presence of god.
i wanted her salvation, for my peace,
i wanted it for me.

she was the sparrow
she was the woman at the well
she was the leper
she was the blind person
she was the cripple
she was the person beaten and left to die on a road from jerusalem to jericho.
she was the woman who was nearly stoned

and i was the pharisee.

i begged god in those moments, to become less like the church, less like the christian i thought i should be, and more like christ.

(...) These are portions of the original post that have been omitted.

1 comment:

Pam Hogeweide said...

gut-wrenchingly beautiful