Sorry doesn’t even begin to cover it

Cute little kittenShe was just frozen there when I spotter her. A little girl, all alone, just sitting on the curb and looking out across the street. I thought it was odd to see her there staring that way. As I approached and could see around the car that was parked near her I realized that she was looking at something in the street. In an instant I put it together. There was a grey and white long hair cat, barely older than a kitten lying dead on the asphalt. I didn’t know if the cat was hers but I assumed it was. All I could think to do was to kneel down beside her slowly and to help quiet her tears I said the only thing I could think of, “I’m so sorry sweetheart.”

She looked up at me and even though she didn’t know me and I didn’t know her she burst into tears with renewed energy as though she had just discovered her cat for the first time and threw her arms around me. She almost knocked me over. I held her and let her sob. And then just a few moments later it seemed, she turned and ran to a house just down the street, leaving me and the kitten behind.

I share this story so I might share another. In my view of the world there are certain people and organizations that you expect certain things from. We expect basic services from our cities and counties. Police, Fire, Utilities, etc., we hope our schools teach our children well and we want our sports teams to win. We also want to know that those who claim to act on the side of Good to be reliable and steadfast in their actions, words, reputation and example to others.

Lately I have seen many in my world at large, like the little girl in the story. They have had something good and kind and beautiful suddenly turn into something very traumatic. Please know that I am a fan of the organization I am about to name and would not want a world without it BUT the Church which I am a part of has gained a reputation lately for taking the good of God, the kindness of Jesus and the beauty of the Spirit and instead showing the world some very ugly things instead.

So if you are reading these words and at some point in your spiritual journey you were harmed by the Church instead of shown love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control and mercy and grace AND forgiveness, like the young girl in the story, I want to say something to you. And I know I can’t speak for everyone, but I have seen you there staring at the Church like a once loved but now dead creation. So on behalf of myself and any Christian Church member who will allow it I want to say, “I’m sorry for the things I did or said that hurt you.” “I am sorry that I didn’t love you the way I should.” “I am sorry for judging you” “I am sorry for not offering you hope when you needed it most”

Please forgive me. I am trying to do better

… now I need a hug!


Jesus Loves Me (Under the following conditions)

Jesus loves even the lowly tortilla

Sing with me now! “Yes Jesus Loves Me, Yes Jesus Loves Me, Yes Jesus Loves Me, the Bible tells me so.” You may have heard the words to this well known song or maybe you have sung them yourself. It is such a simple song, a children’s song. The words saying something so easy to understand and yet so profound for those who believe the words they are singing. But can a person who is not a believer sing these words and have them be true? Does Jesus love those who do not love him back or those who do not love God (the Father)? Let’s go beyond that and ask the really tough questions. Does Jesus love people of another religion? Those people who worship a different deity altogether? Does he love the thief, the rapist, the abuser, the murderer, the embezzler, the fake faith healer?

Ok now let me bring it closer to the chest. If you call yourself a Christian, meaning you strive to be like Christ in your words, thoughts and actions. Do you love all those people I listed in the paragraph above? If not, should you? You see I don’t know what you would answer to the question of who Jesus loves. I don’t need to know what you answered. The question that really matters here is if Jesus DOES love all those people and you are saying you want to be like Jesus and wonder What Would Jesus Do then shouldn’t you love them too? Ok let’s say that now you have had a breakthrough and you love the extremely unlovable and people are starting to call you Jesus Jr. because you are so much like him. Do us all a favor and describe for us what loving these people would look like. You know, walk us through the day to day of a person who knows what the ‘J-Dog’ would do and who does it themselves.

I’m guessing that you would start early by making everyone breakfast because you love to serve. Then you would head to the old folks home to sit and pray with the sickest and those closest to death. Alzheimer’s, dementia, and arthritis, you’ve seen it all. Then you would drop by the prison to visit with the most hardened guilty criminals and to pray for them and talk to them and let them know that you have not given up on them and that you believe their life is not over and even if they never get out they can make a difference right where they are.

Then maybe you would walk the street of you own neighborhood and stop and talk to those kids who look like they are dead with the piercings and the pale faces, tattooed and smoking. And the gay couple you know lives 2 doors down. You spend a minute getting to know them as people and ask if there is anything you can pray for them for.

I wish I could say this describes me. I wish I acted the way I believe. But the truth is most days I have a hard time believing God loves me. But on those days when I let that idea settle into my mind and my heart I am often amazed at what love I am capable of passing on. I just hope others don’t judge God to harshly by what they see in me.

Christians are Chicken of Gays

A Chicken sandwich.
A Chicken sandwich.

What the hell is happening to our world? Seriously? I wish I could answer this simple question which has an increasingly complex answer. If you want to know what I mean here is an example. Some years ago a man opens a chain of chicken sandwich restaurants. This man becomes a success. This man even becomes famous and rich. Now people care what he has to say about things. He decides to take money from his business and give it to organizations he supports. Such as organizations who are anti gay and anti gay marriage. This man claims very clearly to be a Christian. The organizations he gives money too are also Christian. When people find out that he gives money from his company to other companies he believes share his values people who disagree with him start to try and get people to boycott his business.

Lucky for the chicken sandwich man he gets the attention of another Christian success story who just happens to be in politics and this politician says that we as Christians need to go support this “brother in Christ” who is enduring the onslaught of honest public opinion from gays and gay supporters who disagree with him. So the politician says, “hey all you Christians we all need to go to this guys chicken sandwich place and show our support by eating chicken sandwiches.” So all the Christians line up around the block and the business sets new sales records. I would imagine some of the things the Christians standing in line were saying. “God has clearly shown this man and his business favor and so he must be right about the gays and how wrong they are” They might also say things like “God has blessed this man because he stands for what God stands for.” Or maybe even “By supporting this man we are doing what Jesus would do if he were here.” Does all that sound like the kind of thing Christians would say?

What if instead of all the Christians going to the chicken sandwich place and feeding themselves, maybe they could go and buy a meal for someone who doesn’t have one. God knows there are many Christians who could stand to lose a few pounds (just like me) Cause I got a feeling that is what Jesus would actually do. You know what, I am going to take it a step further than that. I think those Christians who lined up to show their support of the chicken sandwich guy should have skipped lunch that day and gone to volunteer at an HIV/AIDS center instead. They could spend an hour caring for the sick and the dying, the wounded and the broken, rather than having lunch with a group of Christian Homophobes. You know what. I’m sorry, I actually completely missed it. How could I have missed it so completely? Forget everything I just said about what Jesus would do. Here is what he would ACTUALLY do. He would be there… in line… with everyone else at the chicken sandwich joint. He would be surrounded by 5 or 6 homosexuals there… and HE would say “Lunch is on me!”

If you don’t believe me go look it up! Mark 2: 15+, Matt 9: 9+, Luke 5: 27+, Luke 15: 2+