I was reminded again today of the tendency some of us Christians have of putting time and effort into trying to change the world through politics, military might and other power structures of this present age. Maybe there is a place for that, I don't know, I just know that the way Christ and the Apostles went about turning the world upside down had nothing to do with politics, earthly kingdoms, military might or the law. It had everything to do with coming alongside the hurting, the outcast, the orphan, the widow and the poor. With bringing them help and healing. With winning them, one by one, through personal love, effort and prayer, out of the kingdom of darkness and into the glorious light of freedom in Jesus.
I don't think the author of this post will mind my sharing it here. I'm putting the link here to the original post, but I'm also including it here in full.
Anyway, without further ado...
I recently attended Times Square Church in New York City and went on a one day mission trip to a local shelter. At the shelter, we handed out leaflets and conducted a church service. At the end of the service, we asked if anyone wanted to come up for prayer. A slender, attractive lady with long straight black hair, standing about six feet tall, was toward the end of my line. Earlier during the service, a friend pointed her out to me and told me she was a transvestite. She was standing alone in the back of the room in the doorway during the service. I struggled accepting her/him inside my small moral box. But as she got closer to me in my line, I heard God tell me, "My Kingdom is for all. All belong to me. I died for all. I dare you to love her as I do." When it was her turn for prayer, I looked into her eyes. Tears had caused her mascara to run down her cheeks. In that moment, I knew that she needed someone to accept her, embrace her, and love her. As I held her hands in prayer, they trembled and I could feel the world's cruelty that was placed on her. She sobbed in shame and humiliation. Her words were few.
Outcasts are real people with feelings just like us. They try to hide a lifetime of hurt, cruelty, and violence underneath their mask. Only a compassionate heart can see through their mask. They lead vulnerable lives in an angry world resulting in a lifetime of self hatred. God longs to hold and comfort them. True tragedy is when people, like this transvestite, never experience a love that God has for them. The main type of love they experience is when someone uses them and then spits them out.
All of us are no different. We are all in the process of becoming. When God's grace and compassion strikes us, we become more like God – who wants to hold and comfort our hurt, rejected and lonely selves. With His embrace, we are all allowed to become.
Once a man and now a woman
No where can you fit in.
You're swept into the world's gutter
Because the world just sees your sin.
You live outside my moral box
You've strayed so far away.
You don't fit in my living room
In Suburbia, U.S.A.
When I can't see beyond the mask
The world put over you;
I've stopped the process to become like God
Whose love you never knew.
I cannot know my fullest self
Unless I see beyond your sin
And bring to you the love of God,
The lifter of your chin.
I pray today for courage
For myself and fellow outcasts;
That we shine through our blindness
With a love that forever lasts.
Musing by Dean Robinson