Some beatings take longer to recover from. Beatings accompanied by ill-will administered by those one mistook for friends are the hardest ones.
I know it has been several months since I have written. The day may come when I can talk about it. Today isn’t that day.
I was looking for 4 gallon water jugs for my dispenser. They were not in their usual spot at Sam’s. I checked several other aisles. I found an employee and asked her. She said, “Did you check the furniture aisle?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “Did you happen to notice if there were any there?” I gawped. Paused. I think she understood what she just asked. It will come to her in the middle of the night when the movie of her life runs through her head.
I sympathize with her. I often speak before I think. Maybe I want to be just as surprised as you are at what comes out of my mouth. I don’t know where I read that, but I felt it deeply.
The beatings mentioned above are even harder to recover from when they were administered for the sole purpose of hurting you.
They reviled Jesus by calling him scornfully a “friend of sinners”. We should ask ourselves how he conducted himself around sinners to keep getting invited to their feasts.
Normalize going a whole day without telling someone what you think is wrong with them.
How did we get here? How did the church devolve into this? We are suspicious of compassion, of joy, of rejoicing, of laughter, of love, of empathy, of tears, of emotions…the only thing we aren’t suspicious of is the false doctrine that takes away our humanity and the possibility of redemption. We’ve turned into cold slaves, offering our heartless service to an angry God, trying to convince him to get off our backs by rebuking everyone around us. It isn’t working.
When we think that the blessing of God is connected to how well other people are keeping the law, we become heartless, cruel, suspicious, restless, angry and vindictive. Maybe we should strive to be known as the friends of sinners, rather than the inquisitors of sinners.