OK it’s Monday…and I’m diving right into it.
Jerry Seinfeld has a very funny shtick on laundry detergent. In it he talks about how laundry commercials confuse him. Like when they say “EVEN GETS OUT BLOOD STAINS!” He goes on to quip, “if you’ve got blood stains on your shirt, don’t you have bigger problems to worry about?”
As people who love God, I’d say the same thing to us.
Sadly, yesterday one of the country’s few late-term abortion providers was gunned down in Wichita, Kansas. While attending church, no less. Now, while I can’t on any level agree with his decision to practice what I would call barbaric medicine, it struck me not as a blow to “his side” of the ethical and political argument, but to the cause of Christ. The Christ who loved the most unlovely (of whom I include myself even on my best days), who willingly gave up his life when he could have called down heaven to take many in his own defense, would have played “human shield” for Dr. Tiller before allowing the man to be shot. Remember, this is the same Jesus who stopped a sword-wielding Peter and played reconstructive surgeon for the soldier who came to the Garden to escort him to the pharisaic clown court. He knew the injustice – heck, he knew the end before the beginning – but he didn’t “live by the sword.”
How sad he is when even one sheep is lost. I believe that includes the doctor, the man accused of his murder, and the billions of babies never known outside of heaven. Whatever your belief about abortion, your experience with it, don’t you think God’s heart is broken with yours on the topic? Anger results from pain.
My goal here: To stir up your heart to love, NOT to choose a side. I think side-choosing is unproductive. The priority of love must rule over all. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (I Cor.13:6). And, who holds the Truth? You? Me?
Want an adventure? Do what I did. Look at I Corinthians 13:4-7 from the Message translation (parentheses mine). Really meditate on it in light of the blood on the shirt of the Kingdom. Put that in perspective…it’s not just on your shirt or mine! Our loving, right and compassionate response can change the heartbroken and the heartbreaking to the mysteriously redeemed. Remember: God works all things to His gain.
Love never gives up. (think of the cause)
Love cares more for others than for self. (consider their desperation)
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. (what exactly am I feeling entitled to? – even righteously entitled to?)
Love doesn’t strut, (how have I been “strutting” my agenda?)
Doesn’t have a swelled head, (what don’t I know in the situation?)
Doesn’t force itself on others, (look through their eyes)
Isn’t always “me first,” (put Jesus in that place)
Doesn’t fly off the handle, (humble emotions for a minute)
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, (have I been doing that?)
Doesn’t revel when others grovel, (try groveling with them. feel the pain of the family and friends)
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, (gaze upon God’s flourishing Truth)
Puts up with anything, (anything?!)
Trusts God always, (always?!)
Always looks for the best, (what is best here…now?)
Never looks back, (am I bitter with what’s behind? what needs to shift in my own heart about that?)
But keeps going to the end. (what does that mean for me, in light of this tragic episode and my life purpose?)