I'm fairly positive no one can croon like Nat King Cole. Believe it or not, Timothy and I performed a lip sync performance to L.O.V.E. If I ever hunt down the recording I'll gladly subject your unsuspecting eyeballs to our award-winning choreography.
In the meantime I need to share what God has been pounding on my soul for the past 3-4 years. It's been a long journey (because I'm a slow learner), and I know it's not even close to over (also because I'm a slow learner). Four letters He has branded on my heart and seared into my grey matter.
It doesn't take a genius to realize love is complex, so let me narrow it down to something broader (yes, you read that correctly). I'm not talking about marriage or dating. I'm definitely not talking about puppies or Vera Wang's new pre-Fall line.
I'm talking about people. I'm talking about The Church* rising up to proclaim what should always be our battle cry. Somewhere along the generations we've lost sight of the hills worth dying on. Suddenly, Planned Parenthood, Ellen DeGeneres and Capitol Hill have become our death hills. Please don't misunderstand me: It's worth our while to think through and form opinions on such issues (I believe every Christian should grapple with this stuff). However, it's not worth it to make it our mission to obliterate anyone who disagrees. More importantly it's not worth dragging the gospel through the mud in order to stubbornly cling to the withered grass on that hill. Half the time we're fighting against fellow believers, for crying out loud (doesn't that speak volumes to the world?!)!
"Above all, put on love-the perfect bond of unity." (emphasis mine, Colossians 3:14)
The way I see it, I should be getting dirt-under-my-nails messy in the lives of my neighbor.** They don't need my condemnation, my judgement, nor my cold shoulder. Putting on love supersedes all rights to "set them straight". Love means I embrace them no matter their lifestyle, skin color, (gasp!) political affiliations or whathaveyou. It does not mean I'm blind to those differences, but it does mean I choose something greater upon which to focus: (you guessed it) LOVE, people!!
I've spent waaaaaay too long casting judgement upon others (I'm sure God's "Thank you for your help" note to me is in the mail). I've picked up my stones and thrown them with deadly accuracy. I've denied Christ by choosing to die on ridiculous hills of self-righteousness.
I have failed. The Church has failed. We've sown some serious seeds of hatred and we're reaping a devastating harvest. We've replaced "compassion for the lost" with "fellowship for the believer". We've turned inward and lost the momentum to love others. It's time we tilled the soil and started sowing seeds of love, where once only condemnation flourished. It's time we uprooted that garbage and started getting our act together.
How 'bout it? Shall we begin the ascent up a hill worth dying on? One that challenges us to radically love our neighbor? Jesus certainly exemplified this for us on Calvary.
*Ecclesiastical (as opposed to specific church/denomination)
**Watch VeggieTales' Are You My Neighbor? OR read Luke 10:29-37. If you're feeling super spiritual, partake of both.