It is not so much our slogans and statements, our creeds and commitments as it is the way we walk them out with our flesh and blood. Documents are empty hulls of potential…and every single day that we truly live those commitments we give them flesh from our flesh and blood from our blood.
The challenge posed by staunch commitment to broken people is that you then will have dealings with broken people.
This can be troublesome if you unconsciously expect that broken people will live and act unbroken. If you dribbled a crystal globe, and it shattered, and then when you touched a piece and it cut you or poked you, the challenge you would be facing would be full blown in how you reacted to being cut.
That is where the reality of creeds, statements and slogans truly emerges…the ones who react in shock or outrage or horror are the ones who thought that globe was a basketball. The ones who recoil in horror or anger or disgust are the ones who believed it was a soccer ball.
That is the distilled essence of walking out the Gospel: realizing that it is a message that attracts the hungry, the lost, the broken and it is not the creed which transforms but the living Presence of Christ IN that creed that does the work of healing and restoration.
Which means to live the Gospel is to be inconvenienced, to be confronted with wounds that stink and are infected, to change the emotionally and spiritually incontinent…and to do it in patient joyful tenderness.
Someone can make their point with stern words and terse actions…it is not hard whatsoever to understand a point that has been made…and someone else can walk their love with gentle hands and consistent presence, and then ask for whatever they want as the broken heal, and slings are discarded and casts are cut off and the lame begin to walk.
And then…deeper…closer…at the pulsing core…the revelation that is couched in those words from the cross “Forgive them Father…they do not know what they are doing.”
Those words have such compassion and understanding in them…they assume that most people would do good things if they REALLY KNEW the impact their troubling actions are having.
It’s such a good thing that we are coming to the place where we can even see that our statements and commitments and creeds have a unique calling to be expressed in our current climate…
it’s an even better thing when we count the cost…
it’s the best thing of all when we keep going and the word(s) become flesh.