I believe in God.
My faith fills me with the floating, deeply rooted, eternal shimmer great love affairs are made of. There is no sense of beginning, ending, only being. Forever. I smile just thinking about it.
God is love, life, eternal, powerful, perfect, true and right.
Most folks would agree.
Until I attach a label to it. Then the human filter kicks in, blurred by the image of flawed humanity that was never His likeness.
Yesterday I went to a community meeting, and a concerned parent expressed alarm at a growing number of prostitutes near an elementary school. The discussion quickly uncovered deeper issues of homelessness, substance abuse, housing shortages, unemployment, etc. One man explained that he had been distributing lunch daily to the homeless.
When he mentioned this, another man became upset. He angrily denounced his actions, telling him to stop feeding the prostitutes, that’ll take care of the problem. Moments later, as this angry man continued voicing his frustration the tip of a tear of hurt shone in all his venomous words:
“Some of my family is out there.”
The man is a pastor.
Today a man, George Zimmerman was charged with the second degree murder of an unarmed 17-year old boy, Trayvon Martin.
I don’t have to know Zimmerman to know the human spirit is not made for killing. This is why our soldiers, our law enforcement agents are so carefully trained, and often so intensely troubled. I don’t have to know Martin’s family to know the human spirit is not made for suffering. This is why our spiritual leaders and elected officials must be chosen by the highest power, and are often so strongly attacked.
Lay down your pitchforks. Lay down your nooses. Lay down your weapons. Lay down your hate.
Lift up your minds. Lift up your hearts. Lift up your spirits. Lift up your love.
Let the tragedy of hatred permeating so much of this world be a platform for us to stand on together, elevated to a higher understanding of what love really means. What life really means.
It is not about killing, judging, or hating one another: It is about finding the power to love those our own pain would lead us to believe are least deserving.