We are all in this together. If God is everywhere, if we are all made in the Image and after the Likeness, if God is our Father, there’s no other way. This concept is at the core of our church; we sing about it in our opening song, we talk about it all the time, and it’s the principle behind our inclusivity statement (please check that out if you haven’t done so already, by the way— I’m really proud of it).
Our church is named Water and Stone for a reason. We believe that God doesn’t change, but that we do. The Truth is permanent, but the facts vary. We see all of it as important, good, and vital. Growth is about looking at your temporal situation so intently, and so lovingly, that you see the timeless face of the Divine looking back at you. Like stones in a stream, we learn how to navigate by seeing what’s beneath the surface and giving thanks for all of it.
This idea applies to life, the universe, and everything. It applies to you. It applies to the way we deal with other people. Yes, each and every person has perfection as their birthright. We are called upon to see the best in each other. But seeing the best doesn’t mean hating somebody if they haven’t mastered life yet.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. (Matthew 5:7, NASB)
Everybody is on a continuum, a journey of expression. And, because we are trying to express infinity through this finite moment, the journey never ends. There will always be more growing to do. Let’s give each other permission to grow. Let’s give each other a little slack.
Growth happens when we learn from and teach each other. The lessons vary, naturally, but as long as we seize the educational opportunities we’ve been given, we grow. Let me put that another way. Your ability to grow is inversely proportional to your willingness to hold a grudge.
Yes, there are people who exhibit toxic, dysfunctional behavior. Being a good Christian does not mean we must enable it. But it does mean that we see past it and behold the child of God in there somewhere, even if we have to do our beholding at a distance.
We all have places to go. Whether they are with you for a short while or for the long haul, the people in your life are traveling companions. That word, companion, literally means "one who breaks bread with another.” Jesus did that a lot, as you know. Was anybody unwelcome as His table?