i sat outside and talked with one of my neighbors tonight and she told me the most heartbreaking story of a women who was raped. the rape resulted in a child and to compound the indescribable level of pain and shame (though clearly she didn't do anything wrong here) many in the church gossiped about her and spread rumors until finally she and her child left. THIS BREAKS THE HEART OF GOD. so what does the heart of God look like?
"A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins [this was equal to two days wages i'll add], telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” Luke 10:30-37
here's the thing a lot of people who judge the church forget - we are just people who are trying to walk out their beliefs like Jesus did. the operative word there being TRYING. trust me, the church has blood of all types on it's hands. my lineage is responsible for contributing for some seriously bad things, things Jesus would spit upon. i won't even begin to start talking about such things as if it is in the past because that wouldn't be true. the above passage tells us what God cares about, mercy, self sacrifice, and above all love. mercy when someone has been literally or emotionally kicked to the ground. to bless the least, last, and lost of the world. jews and samaritans hated each other with a passion. how can we expect our enemies to welcome and accept us more than our own friends? what happened to the woman who was raped is terrible, unthinkable, beyond words. i am shocked and saddened that anyone would contribute to that grief with their petty crap. i actually apologized on behalf of all christians and told her that how those people treated her is not the same as how God feels about her.
my neighbor is going to come to church with me on sunday. i'm glad she's giving us messed up, sinful, jerks a second crack to show her any bit of God's love.