If you know me, you know I read a lot. I think I have so far read close to 120 books this year, and that doesn't often include all the picture books and curriculum books for my kids. In my reading, I have been trying to discern where I belong. I can't seem to leave Jesus. I hate where stagnant Christianity is at, but I cannot throw Jesus and God out the window. I know for some this is necessary, there has been too much hurt and trauma and the hierarchy is so slow to change that to hold on for something to change seems like a lost cause. Everything that I thought was good and true, I know now is compromised by money and power. And knowing that why should I stay with Jesus, and for me its because he's not even in the same realm. Instead he's down with the people who are just trying to make it through the day, the people being persecuted by the police, the people masking to fit in, the people that don't fit into the mass of people because they are LGBTQ+. He's with the people trying to decolonize and reclaim their dignity. He's with Lizzo and her amazing ability on the flute. He's even with the people that are trying to destroy all of those people, because he loves them even if they are so very wrong in their actions. Perhaps they just need to listen more and cling less to oppressive ideas, and just like the person that was waiting for Jesus to rescue them from the flood and they passed up all the people sent them, maybe just maybe these folks will eventually take Jesus up on his message. There is a bit of a prodigal son in all of us and also maybe they will be the workers that only work for the last bit of the day because it takes them so long to catch on, but Jesus still loves them. That I know. Because I once was that person. I used to think people needed to think like me to be good, they had to uphold my standards to be my friend or acceptable for my children. That someone that didn't go to church on Sunday was just lazy or a heathen.
I had to stop trying to be so good. I needed to meet myself and other people where they are at, not where I think they should have been. I needed to grow in my understanding of salvation, and honestly I think there is universal salvation. Maybe this is presuming on God, but also, I am pretty sure God being truly good seeing the suffering of all the people that the comfortable have deemed bad and is just going to scoop them up in the end and say welcome home. I am not sure the rest of us will really understand heaven, but hopefully, God being good, he will say welcome to us too.
I guess I wonder if I see myself as part of the suffering in society. I definitely have had trauma, but I know most days I am now safe and comfortable enough to explore these ideas of what is good and what is love and what is grace and what is mercy.