WOW! A lot has happened since I last wrote a column. I’m not sure if many things have changed in your world, but I’m sure they aren’t as normal as they used to be just a month ago.
No toilet paper, no paper towels, I mean what on earth? People wearing masks, people not able to leave there homes, empty airplanes, empty stores, church online, meetings online, small businesses scurrying to find some answers and hope amidst a world wide pandemic.
If you would have told someone in January that our world would be turned inside out like this everyone would have looked at you with your head tilted. Of course it seems we are all looking at each other that way right now. Why are you wearing a mask? Why aren’t you wearing a mask? Should I be worried that your are wearing a mask? Should I be worried that you aren’t wearing a mask?
So many emotions, so many thoughts, so many different people on different ends of the spectrum. How are you doing? No really, I know you probably won’t talk to me directly but have you stopped to just ask that question? How am I doing? High stress times tend to reveal our idols. Alcohol, power, control, etc. we all have them and they all come out in different manors and different intensities.
Some of my extrovert friends are about to die, from not being able to hug people, and some of my introverted friends are like, this is heaven on earth, no one can touch me or speak to me, isolation is what I’ve longed for, for some time. However we all are suffering. In one way or another we are all made for community, we long for it, to be apart of it, to enjoy it, to be loved, to be known, to be known and loved. The reality is our deepest longing is for someone to know us completely, warts and all and yet still love us completely.
We don’t even know how refreshing it is to find someone like that until we find them. Most of the time we spend hiding who we really are, or what we are really like in hopes that everybody will like us. It’s in times like this of isolation from the crowd that we can see who we are, sometimes that’s most painful to us, but it is also most helpful. Because once we see who we are and love who we are, we can begin to let others see who we really are and be loved by them.
So here’s my advice, take off the mask, the metaphorical one, let people see the you behind the mask. Take a chance and trust people. In the midst of a global pandemic we all tend to become conspiracy theorist or ODC germ freaks and maybe even a little obsessive compulsive. Or maybe we are just always like that and afraid to admit it? We are afraid to admit it because people couldn’t possibly know that about me and love me, could they?
Here is the good news, we all have faults and things we don’t really want people to know about us. How can that be good, well we are all the same, we are all less than perfect, on the inside and outside. You tend to see that whenever people don’t dress up to go to work, or people are letting out stress because they’ve been cooped up for weeks at a time. It’s good because we are all the same in that regard.
The Good News about that is Jesus came to save imperfect people like us. God sent His One and only Son, to be crucified on a cross that whoever believes in him might not die but have eternal life. Jesus was the perfect human and He sacrifice himself to satisfy God’s wrath, so that God would remain just and merciful all at the same time. The cross is where all our sins went to be paid for by Jesus.
Trusting in Jesus means more than just getting in to heaven, it means having a King, a Redeemer, a Savior, a friend, a brother that knows us completely, and got us so well that He died on a cross to save us and make us holy like He is. Our promised adoption doesn’t start when we die, it starts when we are born again, we aren’t sinless yet, but will be. So today we can live with the hope that is within us, God is making all things new, all creation and all of us that have faith in Him. You can live today loving God because He fully knows you and is fully loving you.
What does he ask for in return? That we love Him and love other people. While your out looking for toilet paper and worrying about your job, and marriage and kids and everything else going on in the world, remember Jesus tells us not to worry, but seek first the Kingdom of God.