When our daughter announced she was vegan, making jokes about Star Trek and Klingons and weird far-flung races was easy. Then when the cooking began it became both intriguing and frustrating in equal measure. Then when the lifestyle and beliefs became familiar and real the jokes stopped. Now the eating together is easy and fun. Now we again have our daughter rather than a “lifestyle choice”.
And throughout it was we who were challenged to change. Had it not been for love we might have chosen not to. Had it not been for love we might have all gone our separate ways.
How sad would that have been?
“One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Romans 14:2-4
I take issue with that word “weak”. When presented with a banquet, I find it takes great strength to pass on the meat, fish and dairy dishes. I also take issue with the phrase “whose faith is weak”. On this journey of love who am I to judge another’s strength of faith?
But most of all I take exception to being told how to love another. I question the “faith” of any who name themselves followers and have yet to know – by instinct – the meaning of love.
Do you remember being “saved” (as we glorify our lifestyle choice)? Was that not overwhelmingly wondrous? Was that not overflowing with joy, with gratitude, with love, and with all that is pleasing? Were we not surrounded by other followers who overflowed with all that is pleasing for us and our saving?
When did my saving become a lifestyle choice displeasing in detail to you? When did all I am become less than it was then? How did that overflowing of all that is pleasing become your duty and mine to correct in each other? From whence did the log and speck – now in both our eyes – birth?
We love our daughter because we can do no less. Why should our God of Love be so much less than that? Why do we need to be commanded to love – given reason to love – be taught how to love?
For when I came to you saved …
You needed no such teaching.