“'Only by denying the world can you live in it, that only by surrounding yourself by an artificial, self-induced quietude can you live in a spiritual life.' A real spiritual life does exactly the opposite: it makes us so alert and aware of the world around us, that all that is and happens becomes part of our contemplation and meditation and invites us to free and fearless response.” –Henri J.M. Nouwen, Reaching Out
I live close to a part of the city that has a thriving homosexual population. A few weeks ago the gay pride parade was postponed due the monsoon-like whether Central Florida was experiencing. The parade was rescheduled for this past Sunday. People of every background and origin were out and about for the festivities. But this is not what surprised me…
What surprised me was the reaction of the Christians I was with. Their jokes and derogatory statements caught me off guard. Know that I’m can fully understand anger toward sin but I don’t comprehend a lack of love toward people. These very same people who were the butt of jokes received the breath of life from the Creator of the Universe. He made them in his own image and loves deeply. I can hardly imagine how his heart must break not just for those trapped in sin but also for those that cannot see past sin to love the sinners.
Over the past several years my life has been deeply impacted by people involved in homosexuality as well as those suffering the impacts their sin. I know there is immense pain on both sides. Within the church especially there seems to be more questions than answers on this topic. What I am convinced of is that we will not see anyone in any lifestyle or sin come to Christ unless we first extend Christ’s love to them. Only then will they be able to receive the truth of the Bible and the life changing power of the Gospel.
Are there certain types of people you have trouble extending God’s love to? Let’s pray that God would teach us how to show love to all even those we deem unlovable. Let’s strive to be missional even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable for us.