Tuesday, August 28, 2012

oh, let 'em talk.....

We are very aware of our reputations these days. Ok, maybe not just these days. In fact, my Granny used to tell me that when she was little that she wasn't allowed to walk on the same side of the street as the movie theater, just in CASE someone thought that, God forbid, she had seen a movie. We avoid people of ill repute. We make sure to avoid scandal at all costs. We protect our reputations because your "name" is all you've got, right?

The more I read about Jesus, the less I see Him doing any kind of reputation protecting.

He hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors and just sinners in general. He didn't apologize for it either! He didn't offer mercy to the woman caught in adultery and thrown before Him and then turn to the pharisses and say, "I mean...we are friends and all....but I surely don't condone what she has done.  Maybe I'll make sure she knows that."  What about when He was having dinner with the religious elite and a woman of the night walks into the house, directly up to Jesus and begins washing his feet with her tears and hair. Oh the scandal! Do you see anywhere in this story where He pulls Himself up, coughs a bit, looks around nervously and says "uh, yeah, I don't know her from her job or anything.....I don't know how she even knows who I am.....don't touch me girl, we know where your hands have been"? Nope. He loves her. He offers her grace and mercy. Heck, He calls out Simon's judgment even though Simon hadn't even said it aloud! He affirms her for her faith.

We never once see Him apologizing for who He is spending time with. We never once see Him make SURE that everyone knows He doesn't approve of all of His friends choices. We never once hear Him say "i love these sinners, but I hate their sin". We never once see Him tell others that the reason He is hanging out with this crowd is for ministry sake.

He simply loves.

"Let 'em talk" He must think.

He's used to the talk anyways. When the God of the universe looked around and determined the best way to enter the world, He chose to come in scandal. I know that today we look back at the immaculate conception of baby Jesus in the virgin Mary as a miracle, but I'm pretty sure that the people of the day just saw it as a scandal. You think they believed Mary or Joseph when they said, "We didn't have sex. God impregnated her!"?  yeah right. This baby had to have been the talk of the town.

He entered into mess and scandal. He chose to enter the world, innocent, and yet being gossiped about.

He chose throughout time to use the messiest of the messy for HIS glory. Mess and scandal don't bother Him a bit. He's not ashamed to be called my God b/c of my mess. Not one little bit. And He's not afraid of your scandal or mess either.

I see this in how He chose to use Bathsheba as the mother of Solomon. Rahab as the mother of Boaz. He saw their hearts. He loved these women. He chose to use them to parent some of the greatest men of all time. (and as for Bathsheba, to be loved by one of the greatest men of all time. Sure their relationship didn't start out right....but the Lord never walked away from them and instead blessed their union beautifully).

I want to love like that. No apologies.

Because people know if you love them .... even though. We feel it. I have felt it. I have known people who wanted to stand beside me even though they didn't agree with my choice to leave. They loved me even though....but it didn't feel like love.

If you know that someone is embarrassed to be your friend, it hurts. We don't want secret friends. I have a few actually. People who I am friends with in private, but who I can tell don't want to let the whole world know we are friends. That kind of love isn't freeing. That kind of love doesn't make you feel safe to be fully yourself.

The kind of love Jesus gave accepted people FULLY. He loved them completely right where they were at. This is the kind of love that frees. Being fully loved makes you feel safe enough to want to get rid of the chains. Being fully loved allows you to put down the weapons you have used to protect your heart. Sin is bondage. Being fully loved makes you want to be free from all bondage. He didn't need to tell them about their sin always. Loving them well allowed them to want to put their sinful ways aside so that they could live in the fullness of love.

I want to love like that.

I want to enter the mess of the world with no apologies and without fear for my reputation or what people may think or say.

I want to love people with the kind of love that can only come from Jesus and that frees them to be more them than they've ever been....with the kind of love that allows them to feel safe enough to put aside their weapons....with the kind of love that heals wounds....with the kind of love that calls people to live the great adventure with Jesus, allowing Him to change us and then to use us to change the world. 

So if you see me in the mess. If you see me being friends with people you don't understand. If you don't understand me or my story. If you think I get too close to scandal and choose at times to walk into it. Go ahead and talk I guess.....because this is where I find my Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. I want to write something profound but all I keep thinking is "you go girl!"