Removing the Log hurts like a mother

6 05 2011

Matthew 7:3 – Why worry about a speck in your friends eye when you have a log in your own?

I’m going to give you my strange reflection on Bin Laden’s death.  When I first heard the news, after the shock wore off, I was sad.  Sad that the human condition is such that violence is the only option; sad that such evil ever entered the heart of man; sad that so many lives have been lost in the pursuit of one.  Sad.

Then, I discovered, and was disgusted by, a part of me that was happy.  I was happy that he can no longer be the creative mind behind evil; happy that my thirst for blood was quenched; happy that the “series finale” of my favorite show “war in the middle east” had such a good closing (even if there will inevitably be a spin-off, it won’t be as good).  Happy.

Then, scared.  Scared there would be retaliation; scared that my perfect little bubble of a world here in Oklahoma, untouched by evil, might change; scared of an attack that makes 9/11 look like child’s play.  Scared.

Finally, hopeful.  Hopeful that this era marked by terrorism was coming to a close; hopeful that a new day can begin with new mercies we willingly accept and allow for EVERYONE; hopeful that Christ can and will redeem even this.  Hopeful.

All that washed away when I looked at Facebook and twitter.  I became angry, disgusted, and mean-spirited.  I accused everyone else as being no better than Bin Laden.  He denied the humanity of thousands of people on 9/11 – we denied his humanity on 5/1.  There is no difference between “thousands” and “one” in the eyes of God. Christ died for all and mourns the death of the wicked.  

****This next part might sound insensitive, but it’s intended to illustrate the previous point.****

Inevitably: Someone who died in 9/11 exploited children in the third world for capital gain.  Wicked.  Someone who died in 9/11 was a child abuser.  Wicked.  Someone who died in 9/11 was a theif.  Wicked.  Someone who died in 9/11 was a Christian who spoke harshly and mercilessly against his/her brothers and sisters, like me. Wicked.

One thing I cannot stand is having my faith called into question because of my political beliefs.  I make decisions about my politics based on my understanding of the life Christ has called and is calling me to live.  Disagree if you want, but do not try to tell me who I am in Christ.  You are not the gatekeeper to Heaven or Hell.  But I am, right?

You who rejoiced in the streets when one of God’s creation dies: condemned.  You who exploit the environment so you can make a buck: condemned.  You who tell me I’m not a Christian because we disagree: condemned.  Don’t mess with me!  I’m God’s judgment maker!!!!!

Well, that’s crap and I know it as well as you do.

Once God checked this mentality in me, I realized: I can be mean sometimes…er, most of the time.  I spent the greater part of the weekend passing judgment on those who passed judgment on Bin Laden – as if they are God and have any right.  I pointed out that the same evil is in them that was in him – they like to kill each other, they like to pretend the other is not human, they like to pretend that Christ only died for us, they like to pretend that God smiled when the shot was fired.

Then I realized I was doing the same thing.  While I was trying to pick that speck out of everyone else’s eye, I couldn’t figure out why I was having such a hard time getting it. 

Oh, it’s because there is a flippin’ log in my own!  Makes sense.

Who am I to pretend that “they” are not a part of the “we” of the church?  Who am I to say who is and is not responding appropriately?  Who am I to dehumanize my brothers and sisters in the faith?  Who am I to withhold mercy and grace from them?  Who am I to be granted the wisdom above everyone else to respond rightly?  Who am I?

As I put on my friend and pastor Jessica’s Facebook: I’m not going to say that this is just “my christianity,” “my faith,” anymore than I’m going to let you claim it about your own.  There is a Truth about how Christians ought to have responded to the event, and I’m convinced that every last one of us got it wrong. Dead wrong. We’re all in different places on this journey into God.  Not necessarily ahead of or behind anyone else, as if comparison to others is how God judges us. 

I’m not like Christ yet.  His response to 5/1 was perfect and holy.  Mine was imperfect and profane, laced with the language of faith.  My response to my brothers and sisters was sinful.  It was as full of hate and malice as any anti-muslim hate speech ever was or will be.  But it was put into the beautiful words of Christianity.  And I took God’s name in vain by doing so – I used God to propagate my agenda.  I pretended I could speak on behalf of God.

So, let the log removal begin!  Let the only Perfect One, the one with no specks in his eye, remove my log so I can begin to see the world the way he sees it.  Let the only one whose judgment brings life, judge me.  Let the only one who can forgive fully, forgive me and teach me to seek forgiveness.  Let the only one who knows what mercy and grace are, grant it to me and teach me how to grant it to others.

I’m a sinner. I’m human.  But I’m being saved from that everyday.

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12 09 2011
9/11 « Life Has Never Been Normal

[…] Osama Bin Laden didn’t undo 9/11.  Our soldiers at home and abroad cannot undo 9/11.  Only God can.  And […]

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