Mark Driscoll (via jspark3000)
This is normal Christianity
If when the devil speaks to you, you are frightened, he would be so easy to resist. I think the scariest part of the devil is that he sounds so reasonable
My pursuing an active relationship with God also started sophomore year. Before then I allowed other people to be my rocks and the focus of my love, but at the beginning of the year my boyfriend and best friend dumped me pretty much at the same time. Shortly thereafter I found out he’d cheated on me. Repeatedly. And although I didn’t love him, finding that out and having no close friend to turn to put me in a mild depression. A few months later my family and I started going to church again, but my mom was engaged in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. Before we realized it he was able to tear us apart. When she broke up with him she relied heavily on God for peace and strength. Since then we’ve been attending church regularly. That summer I went to Aruba with my dad and while praying (well, singing a song of praise in my head) in a prayer labyrinth I felt my spirit move and rejoice in His presence. It was amazing. About a year ago I fell into another brief depression when I let something I wrote be more dear to me than Jesus. It failed me, as idols are wont to do. But I was soon pulled back to Him by a 7(? Maybe 10)-day Daniel Fast. This past summer, I got into a huge fight with my dad. As I sat, isolated by bitterness and anger, I realized that those weren’t Godly feelings. I apologized to God for dishonoring my father and for succumbing to wrath. As soon as I finished, my dad came to me and we reconciled. Earlier this year I gave my boyfriend from junior year the forgiveness he craved. Two weeks ago I reached out and forgave the boy who cheated on me. Last week I took communion for the first time (I haven’t been baptized but my church practices open communion) and experienced an overwhelming sense of peace and wonder. Finally, last night as I was praying I felt convicted to tell a friend of mine (he’s straddling the line between believer and non-) to pray and just lay whatever’s on his heart before God. I haven’t checked in with him yet, but I’m excited to hear how he feels.
Today i took communion for the first time
I love people that are gay.
And not just because they come up with the best hairstyles
Or clothing styles
Or any kind of styles
And not just because they give me free drinks and free winks at Starbucks
And not just because they’re the best on “So You Think You Can Dance”
And not just because they’re loud
Or any other stereotype you can think of
Not because I’m afraid of what people will say about me
And not because I’m morally or socially or emotionally obligated to.
I love gay people because gay people are people.
And I love people.
And God loves people. And I love God. And God wants me to love people.
But I hate some people so much sometimes.
I hate people who hate people and I hate people who hurt people and who make people feel like they aren’t people too. I hate people who kill innocent people and I even kind of hate people who kill guilty people and I hate people who bully people and I hate people who hate people because they have different opinions from other people. But God loves those people. And because God loves me when I am at my worst, I also try to love those people.
When I was 13, my mother left my stepfather for a gay man who thought that maybe he was straight. And maybe he wasn’t straight, but he left his boyfriend for my mother because he thought maybe it was worth it. And maybe it wasn’t worth it but sometimes when you’re the outcast it feels nice to pretend like you can be normal for a little bit. And maybe we can never be normal but maybe if we just pretend hard enough then we can hate ourselves a little less. Well, one night, he stopped pretending to be something he was not and he left my mother for another man.
And my mother wept.
And I held her in my arms and she said she was broken.
And I didn’t know what that meant but I knew how it felt cause I think I was broken too.
And I didn’t hate gay people but I hated that man on that night for the way he made my mom feel and I hated him for the way my mom made ME feel when she told me she was broken. So I broke in to his garage with a wooden bat in my hands and waited for him to come home. I never did anything. I just sat there on the concrete floor and cried a little bit because I didn’t know what else to do and then I went home. But I had loved that man so much and I never understood how I could come to hate someone I loved. Or how I wanted to hurt him just because he loved someone who wasn’t my mom. I didn’t understand anything that was happening in my heart or head. So I told myself I hated him because he was gay. But by the time I turned 16, I learned there were a lot worse things you could be than gay. And I learned there were a lot more ways you could be broken too.
My mom dated a couple other guys.
We watched her nearly beaten to death.
We watched her try to take her life.
We watched her draw in shallow breaths
As she whispered, “You children were my light.”
I learned that the people you trust can be evil
I learned that some children are abused by their stepdads
I learned that bruises heal much quicker than hearts
That blood and wine and teardrops all look the same on a pillowcase
And strewn across my mother’s face
And on a crowded staircase
Where my siblings and I would hide away
I learned that “freedom” is a night where you sleep more hours than you fight
Things such as these hardened my heart
I grew up faster than I should have
Grew more cynical than I would have
And got out later than I could have
But a shoulda woulda coulda is no shoulder to cry on
And regrets aren’t a hill I’m willing to die on
So I learned to let bygones be bygones.
And by God, I swear that by the time that I’m gone
This world’s gonna have more lights on
I learned that we need to forgive like it’s electric
Currents running through veins faster than adrenaline
I learned to love in a world that is hectic
To show that God’s grace is poetic
Because He’s the world’s worst kleptomaniac
Giving things that we don’t deserve back
So we can reach out to the theater kids, the goth freaks, the braniacs.
I learned to let my heart travel along the train tracks.
To distant places. To see saddened faces. To know poverty and embrace it. To know brokenness and face it. To know sadness and erase it.
But not from my memory.
Listen, have love for your enemy.
Smile at everyone you see
Be a friend to every living thing
Make a change
Face the day
You’ve been in pain
Let that pain be worth it
Don’t let it be in vain
We need to let God’s love take us furthest
Let’s start creating for ourselves a society where people love people. Where people can truly love themselves. The past has had enough hate. The world has been run by prejudice and bigotry for long enough. We are headed in a new direction. Where no one is perfect but everyone is given grace. Where the radical love of Jesus pushes some boundaries because it’s expanding to every corner of the Earth. Where a person finds that they not only love themselves, but that there is a world full of people who love them too. Unconditionally. Irrevocably. Endlessly. Radically. People loving people who are black, white, poor, rich, smart, stupid, tall, short, talented, lame, beautiful, ugly, fat, skinny, straight, and gay. People loving people who are people. Get on board or get out of the way.