Monday, November 28, 2011


I wanted to share something with you that has been grating on me lately. I was talking to a friend the other day and somehow it came up that they didn't like a certain group of people. When I asked the answer was "They're druggies." Does that bother you as much as it does me? When I think about it I realize how often we do this. I do this. Why is it that we are so casual about labeling people based on the choices they've made in their lives, their sins, ways of life? Why do we label people at all? He's a druggie, she's a lesbian, he's a hobo, she's a slut. Why do we base our opinions of people off stuff as shallow as all this? Why can't we push past the surface and get to know them for who they are? Maybe their sins are more obvious, maybe they even flaunt them, but being judgemental is not our duty, and if we are really honest with ourselves we are no better, even if it is more internal. That's another thing, Who are we to say one sin is higher than another? We're all level at the foot of the cross, right? So why do we make such a big deal of someone murdering and just brush off the arrogance in our own hearts? Why is it that we judge those who struggle with addictions when our hearts are full of anger? Do you get my point? It goes back to that verse in Matthew 7:3, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" It's not my place to label others, it's not my place to judge whose sins are worse than my own. And if I'm honest, I struggle with this a lot. I long to love these people, to let everything else drop away until it is just me and them and my beautiful Jesus who died so that we might live. Not just me. Both of us. All of us. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that Jesus would die for me, that I forget He died for the rest of the world too. There is absolutely nothing in the world like the realization that Jesus died for everyone I look at. I had a very special moment when it really hit me. I was standing at the front of my church serving communion, with the cup of grape juice and looking each person in the eye saying "The blood of Christ shed for you" And in that moment I had to fight back the tears as I realized and felt the enormity of that statement. So, and I say this for myself more than anyone, next time you're tempted to pass judgement remember that Jesus got up there on the cross and died for them too because he loves them dearly and longs for them to come running back into his arms. Is my judgement what is turning them away from the love of God?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Last Friday I went to Chicago with two of my favorite people in the world. As we walked through the streets we passed numerous homeless people begging for money. Each and every time, my heart would break for them. How can one's life take such a turn against them that they end up on the streets? It's so typical for us to make judgements against these people. Why are they sitting there begging and not looking for a job? Why should I feel bad, they're probably a druggie, they did it to themselves, right? But really, who are we to judge? I mean sure some of them may have drug addictions. But there is no way to know for sure without talking to them. And they may have exhausted all their options with jobs or not have the ability to work. Do you understand how much utter humility it takes to admit that you can no longer make it on your own and subject yourself to the stares of everyone passing on the street assuming things about you that may or may not be true? And if they had someone in their life who was willing and able to care for them do you think they'd be there? There are so many things that could happen to land someone with out a home. Estranged relatives. Mental/physical disabilities. Bad luck. There may not be a clear reason even, somehow they're life just took a turn for the worse and they lost what they once had. While we were eating dinner in Chicago, I noticed a man in his sleeping bag right outside Subway, just laying on the sidewalk. As I watched him I noticed he was smoking a cigarette. And I could feel myself right away judging him. If he could buy a pack of cigarettes why could he not buy himself some food, or save up for something? But the more I thought about it, the more I sympathized with him. If I was living on the street, spending my days avoiding the stares, and yet wishing that just one person would treat me like a human again. Begging for money but also inside begging for someone to care. With no one to love or be loved by, and finding that for just a little while with that cigarette or that drink I  could forget everything and be happy again, I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing. Who's to say that they don't use that drug as an alternative to the love we reject them everytime we walk by with out a word, or a smile, or just looking them in the eye? Is that really so much to ask?! Jesus loved the unlovable and touched the untouchable. I pray that someday we all learn to do the same. It could just change the world.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


"i hear you say 'my love is over,
its underneath, its inside, its in between
the times you doubt me, when you can't feel
the times that you've questioned 'is this for real?'
the times you've broken, the times that you mend
the times you hate me and the times that you bend
well my love is over, its underneath
its inside, its in between,
these times you're healing
and when your heart breaks
the times that you feel like you've fallen from grace
the times you're hurting
the times that you heal
the times you grow hungry and tempted to steal
in times of confusion and chaos and pain
im there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
im there through your heartache
im there in the storm
my love i will keep you by my power alone
i dont care where you've fallen, where you have been
i'll never forsake you
my love never ends, it never ends'"

I was talking to a friend today about life, and I got to thinking about how blessed we are that God is there for us regardless of our situation. The lyrics above are from the song "Times" by Tenth Avenue North and I've found myself clinging to it often. How amazing it is that we have a God who loves me through all of my successes and all of my failures. In a world that is so quick to judge and throw labels out, it's relieving to know that my God, my Father, my One Love, accepts me for who I am, he has made me beautiful and no mistake or wrong decision will ever take me away from his love. I find myself so often holding back, subconsciously knowing that He can't love me even seeing all of my inner most thoughts and desires. The thing is, he does. He loves me more than I could ever ask or imagine. I may not feel Him all the time, but he is always here. And tonight I rest in the security of knowing that regardless of what comes up and what situations I may face tomorrow, my Father is right beside me, loving me and holding my hand through it all.

Father, thank you for loving me unconditionally. I revel in you and long for you more everyday. Come near me and bring me near to you. I love you.