"what is this thing? it moves and grunts and even cries. actually it makes me laugh when it cries. it sounds funny and makes silly faces. why is everyone making such a big deal about it?"
i imagine jackson saying these things to himself. you can see it in his face, no? i mean, this is a new thing. a very new thing. look at the wonder in his eyes. he is no casual observer. he has the focus of one who is looking at something new and amazing and curious and wonderful and wild.
i thought of that as i re-read one of the lectionary texts for this coming sunday. in john 13 Jesus says to his disciples, "...i give you a new commandment, that you love one another. just as i have loved you, you also should love one another. by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
i can almost hear the disciples. "what is this thing? its weird and doesn't make sense. we have enough commandments. what is this new thing?"
driving through beautiful farmland in western jersey, listening to sufjan stevens on my way to art class this morning, i thought about the simplicity of Jesus' commandment. it doesn't need a lot of unpacking. we don't need a masters degree in greek to get it. we are supposed to love other people just like jesus loved us. that's how people will see the jesus in us.
the only way to get the christ into our christianity is to love. i am convinced of that.
and yet, after all these years, it still seems like a new commandment. it seems like the church still doesn't get it. it seems like we are alot better at judging than loving. heck, we are better at having pot luck dinners than loving. anything but loving, really. because, while it is a simple commandment, loving people is freaking hard sometimes.
but then, other times, its not so hard. like when you are looking at a human being who has been sharing our air for all of 5 and a half days. its not hard to love that little bugger. he is helpless and innocent and soft and nearly weightless. he seems to be fresh from God. its not hard for me to love him. its not hard for jack to love him.
and so, as sufjan serenaded me, i realized that i want people to see the love in me. maybe it shouldn't be so hard. maybe i should stop trying to get love, or to get something out of love. i just want to learn to love. period. i want to love with wild wonder. i want to see people as the children of heaven they are: gifts from a gracious God. i want people to see the love in my eyes when i look at them. i want people to see the Jesus in me when they look at me.
maybe it shouldn't be so hard.