I’ve put on weight this past eighteen months. More than I would like. Keep telling myself I will do something about it. Except my wardrobe consists of three sizes. A consequence of fluctuating over the years. Also means not having to go out and buy new clothes when transitioning between ideal weight and less than ideal weight.
We should have been on a beach in Turkey these two weeks. Instead, we had a caravan for a few days near Skegness. Last time we did that our children were youngsters full of fun and energy. Everything was exciting. This time, on our own, everything looked a bit jaded. Even the weather. We came home 48 hours sooner than planned. The caravan was lovely, but our home is much better when the weather is “meaughhhh”.
I want to know why we learn to judge ourselves and each other. Judge the return on a caravan on grey weather compared to our home. Judge my body shape and size against an ideal that changes over the centuries and different cultures. Have others judge my body shape, the way I speak, my confidence, my knowledge, my job, my income, our home and “possessions” … my “style” (whatever that means). I know I do it and I resist – yet I do it all the same. Just like others do it to themselves and me and others. We all do it – and we all know we do it – yet we all carry-on doing it.
Our children thought caravans were great! So much to do, so much fun to be had, so many chips to eat, so many things to see. Our grandchildren don’t see me in one of three different size clothes. Nor do they have to be told how to work a tablet. They just learn and become experts much younger than seems “appropriate” (i.e. way sooner than I or our children ever did). They accept so much in the moment. They tantrum and laugh in the same breath almost. They hug me with abandon and ignore me without any guilt. They are selfish and selfless in one small package of joyous innocence. They judge but without all the “stuff” I have learned to judge with. They judge in the moment and move on. I judge in silence and wear it for a long time. Sometime carrying a slight for so long I cannot even remember the details.
And yet when God Soft Hands Jesus was walking and talking little children were kept at a distance. Not high enough up the pecking order of need and entitlement to merit a place in the queue to be healed by the Messiah. Just like the blind and deaf and crippled and discarded. All the ones deemed less than ideal in a society of judge and be judged. It wasn’t just the religious elite who were “the enemy”. Yet we look at the Pharisees even today and see those God couldn’t reach. Who Jesus debated at length with and yet who eventually nailed him to a cross in righteous validation. Surrounded by a crowd of the same ordinary folk all now baying for blood and loving freeing a murderer in place of this sanctimonious charlatan: The Messiah who brought no Kingdom to which we are all entitled (for believing we are all entitled).
Just like the simplicity of Love has also been made the enemy. On a shelf we cannot reach. Love that is taught as unattainable to me the ordinary Joe because I am tainted with sin that I never even knew I was until I was told to believe I am. Another belief that has seen some of the weirdest and wickedest religious teachings across all faiths.
Love will never be the answer because Love is not in the bible or sacred teachings. Love is not in fine words or charitable deeds. Love is not even in blogs like this.
I am love or I am not love. Love is not saying yes to everyone. Love is not saying no to me. Love is not one thing or another. Love is or love is not. And therein lies the dilemma for any institution of correctness. Therein lies why God Soft Hands Jesus was nailed to a cross.
Love isn’t a bunch of rules to be observed. Isn’t a taught response of correctness. Love is not proven by committee or constitution. Not even by killer verses. Love is or love is not.
THAT is bigger than “church” and everything that goes with “church”.
A child gets that. A child embraces that. A child loves and lives in the moment. It’s why children will never run anything. It’s why GSHJ had to tell his disciples not to keep the little ones away.
Love cannot be trusted.