This photo reminds me of some autumn runs with my boy, D-Gale. I have missed them.
Around the time I was 13 or 14, I decided to check out this dude, Jesus, for the first time. So, I opened this huge, boring looking book called the Bible. Jesus isn’t in the beginning of the Bible. There is just a whole bunch of weird and boring stuff. Jesus comes later. Much later. It took me a while to realize that.
Anyway, I immediately fell in love with Jesus. My first impression of Him was when he climbed up a mountainside with His closest friends and talked with them. He shared with them all types of gorgeous and radical ideas. One of them was this:
“This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.” – Matthew 5:45
Later, He said this:
“Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” – Matthew 5:48
I realize there are going to be people reading this who identify with the Christian faith and those who do not. Regardless, my God gives His best to everyone. Everyone. Terrorists, prostitutes, priests, teachers, Americans, Russians, Kansas Jayhawk basketball fans, attorneys, the homeless, those in poverty, the wealthy, ragamuffins. Everyone.
Today I sat through a seven hour training about poverty. I could not help but think about the connections between my spiritual beliefs and acknowledging and confronting generational and situational poverty. And this is because they are completely connected.
So many who share the same faith as me use this beautiful and selfless faith to oppress and manipulate. Instead of doing exactly what Jesus was doing, which was hanging out and loving on the poor. And the prostitutes. And the tax collectors. And the lepers. And (if they would have existed then) the Kansas Jayhawk fans. And His closest friends. And His mother. He loved all of them. And lived graciously and generously to all of them.
My Jesus gave His best to all. My Jesus lived with love, compassion, empathy, grace and generosity to all. Living any other way is a misconception and misrepresentation of my Jesus. And I misrepresent all of the time.