Posts tagged ‘paul smith’

The Overwhelming Challenge Of Love

This blog might be a bit hard to swallow.

There’s a really good chance that the picture above has offended you in some way.  Please believe me when I say that it’s not my intention to offend nor condemn you if you do find it offensive.  It’s hard for me to swallow.  After reading some of Osama Bin Laden’s exploits, including all of those who died in 9/11, the thought of Jesus washing Osama’s feet makes me tense up a bit.

But didn’t Jesus die for Osama Bin Laden?

Of course we know that Jesus died for Osama because Jesus died for everyone.  We’ve been told that since 1st grade Sunday school.  But there’s is a difference between abstractly knowing something to be true, and experiencing something to be true.  Sure, we can believe that Jesus died for everyone because it’s a blanket statement that doesn’t require a lot of thought.  But when we show the concept of God’s love in a more practical and visual way, like in the picture above, it may put us on edge.

The truth is, God loves Osama Bin Laden with unsurpassable, unfathomable, unequivocal and irrepressible love.

And he loves you with that same love.

But why is it so hard to see that God is crazy about Osama Bin Laden, the serial rapist in prison, and the crack-head neighbors that keep you up all night with their really loud music?

If you would turn with me in your Bibles to…

Just kidding…well, sort of.

We (probably) all know the story of Adam and Eve.  They were the first man and woman God created.  They lived in a beautiful utopian garden.  They were completely naked except for some tree leaves on their googly parts.  (Okay so that last part wasn’t exactly true but this is website is rated PG 🙂 )  And the only rule they had was not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  But they did anyway.  And God got really mad and punished them with things like foot fungus and strange body hair and April 15th.  (And that last part was also false….I think).

And as many times as I heard this story growing up, it didn’t make full sense to me until I realized that God doesn’t make up stupid rules for no reason.  There was a reason God did not want Adam and Eve to have knowledge of good and evil.  And I’m convinced that this reason is really the crux of Christianity. Here it is.

God designed us for the purpose to live in love.  That’s it.  And the whole concept of good and evil is way to big for our finite brains.  We weren’t designed to be able to grasp the concept.  Only God can make perfect sense out of good and evil.  And when Adam and Eve were given this knowledge, they screwed it up.

It’s like men trying to understand the female mind.  We know it exists, but we’ll never fully understand it.

And this is where we are at today.  Instead of living in love, and understanding that every human being has unsurpassed worth, we judge everyone.  We take this ridiculously huge concept of good and evil, contort and disfigure it, and use that as the lens in which we view our world.

And that’s why we have trouble picturing Jesus washing Osama’s feet.

This is why the Bible says over and over not to judge and just love people.  And that is crazy hard because there are so many really, really moronic people out there.

See?  That was my really pathetic and limited interpretation of good and evil.

This is the challenge.  This is something I’ve been trying to do everywhere I go.  It’s hard but it has changed my life. Everywhere I go, I’ll look at a person and imagine the intense love God has for that person.  Sometimes it’s easy.  Sometimes, like whenever I go to Wal-Mart, it’s really hard.

But the more I do this, the concept that God truly loves all becomes more a reality.  It makes me view the world in less pessimistic ways.  The more I realize that God loves everyone means that I can apply it more and more to my own life.  And the more I realize that God loves me, the better I can deal with my own personal crap and baggage.  Life simply becomes better when I live in love and not judge people.

And yet the challenge continues…

I am personally having trouble picturing God’s love for this guy.  God loves him, but my view of good and evil is preventing me to see that love realistically. I’m still a work in progress.  My head in convinced that Jesus would wash Paul Smith’s feet and that Jesus weeps over his decisions and all the damage he has done.  I’ll let you know whenever my heart catches up with my head.

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