I read the boys the story of the good Samaritan tonight at bedtime. Well I read it to Ben, Ephraim decided that pointing out all the Thomas trains in another book was better. I didn't make the connection at the time, but it seems God was telling me something even in the chaos of a bedtime Bible story.
I went on to read a post about young girls not being able to give consent to rape by an older man by Simcha Fisher found here at Patheos. I was struck by how she called us all out. Because well, she's right. It is so much easier to blame the girl who is dressed all sexy at 12 or 10 trying to look 25 than it is to love her, to see the hurt or the want of love behind her actions. It made me think about how good intentioned people like myself, may not have the best reaction to a teenager who just wants to fit in and dresses like society tells her with her short shorts and her low cut shirt. I may want just be annoyed with her and her fashion sense, but she's probably just trying to fit in and definitely not trying to be raped by an older man. I was once that teenager after all, the one just trying to fit in, even if it was a decade and a half ago. Even so, it is much easier to judge than love.
So last week, I gave up facebook. I didn't like who I was becoming, someone full of negativity. I read yet another post this time by Calah Alexander found here again at Patheos. In it she explained that she didn't know she could be so mean in real life. I feel like this is who I am/was being. I am constantly finding myself judging and being annoyed with people instead of loving them. This paragraph stuck out particularly:
" I can’t help but wonder if this virtual, gnostic reality is creating a generation of people who are deficient in the practical reality of love. We may be great at talking about love and mercy, we may be great at recognizing where it is or isn’t in these words on this page, but are we great at walking next door to watch our neighbor’s kid so she can run to the store unencumbered? Are we great at taking dinner to the elderly man down the street and staying to help him clean the toilet that he can’t bend down to scrub anymore? Are we even just great at closing Firefox so our son can climb in our lap?"
I can talk all I want, and maybe I do okay with my own kids (at least my husband tells me so), but I am failing at loving when it comes to the people in my life that are difficult or just don't think just like me. It is so easy to be annoyed to judge them instead of understand and love them. I think that I have at least finally recognized this more. It's not to say that I have figured out how to turn the off switch on the annoyance at someone not getting it. I mean I screamed at someone very dear to me today because he couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to do something that the rest of the world would find completely normal to do. That wasn't loving at all, he didn't mean any harm and I shouldn't have come at him like I did.
So among other reasons to give up Facebook, the time suck, the distraction from whats important, the vanity I feel like I get from posting things on it, I really gave it up because I want to love better or more, both really. I want to be able to see someone who is hurting or isn't all together and just be able to be Jesus to them, not see them as a problem or even just be okay with different lifestyle choices that are not for me but work for them. I feel like I am almost at ground zero for this in somethings though because I've created a cycle for myself to pick apart the wrong instead of seeing the searching and yearning and wanting for love...the good in people.
So that good Samaritan, well I hope to be him someday. I hope to really love my neighbor and not just see them for their faults. Pray for me in this and if there is anything I can pray for you too, I am more than willing to do so for you.