Jermaine first commented over her a couple of months ago. We talked some on Twitter and he's just a wonderful person to get to know. I love folks who are interested in participating in the Virtual Village and Jermaine is absolutely one of those people. And for a bass player, he's got quite a personality! (I kid, I kid!) Also, he says spankin' a lot. I'm so glad that he's offered up this great piece about trouble-making for you today!
“I am human; I consider nothing human can be alien to me.”
- Terence, ancient Roman playwright.
Loving our neighbor as ourselves is, by far, the most troubling command ever given. Loving God can be a wrestling match at times, but it has nothing on loving another human. Esp. when they don’t look like, talk like, dress like, believe like, and live like we do.
“How am I supposed to love this person when everything they believe is contradictory to what I believe?” “How am I to even connect with that person when I’ve been raised to avoid them or save their souls at all costs?” Religion has taught us to stay with people who match us: like-minded people (bonus points if they look like us, not just with race). So what do we do?
Honesty Bridges the Gap
We can lead with a smile and make the first move. There is common ground, we are all human. Being transparent will bridge the gap. We all have hurts, wounds, loves, hopes, dreams, etc. Expressing our feelings is scary, yet it connects us on a deeper level. Honesty creates an environment of safety, and walls come down when people feel safe.
We can address why we are feeling uncomfortable in the first place. I find myself at times wanting to use the Bible to justify my insecurities with people and attempt to hide behind random scriptures taken out of context. What’s up with that?
The more honest I am with myself, the more I see my fears. When I can say to someone, “this is how I feel based on how I was raised and my past experiences” than quote scriptures, those walls tend to crumble and conversation can begin. Also, I have to keep in mind they might have their own reservations in talking to me.
A Great Way to Mess Up An All About Me Day
Yes, it can ruin an otherwise comfortable day. Yes, it is unpopular and can cause us all kinds of drama. It shakes up the uber-religious, stay to our own tribe mentality. Yes, we will get put on blast, but I would rather upset people by loving a person than ignore or judge that person to please people.
Loving another person regardless of anything about them pulls us out of ourselves, and into that shared human space. God lives in that space too, grinning from ear to ear as a proud Poppa as we stammer over our words and make the effort.
We can spankin' do it. Showing love to people is our calling, saving souls is up to God. The trouble that comes is an unfortunate side effect from tradition and fear. Jesus dealt with it by hanging out with and loving “them”. We can do the same. We can get our hands messy and love. It isn’t always pretty, but it is beautiful.
How can you get into trouble and love a person today?
[photo by Andrew Morrell Photography]
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