Tuesday, May 01, 2007

maybe it shouldn't be so hard

"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.




Ágúst Symeon said...

Hi. Ended up on your blogsite by accident. Just wanted to say Congratulations! What a beautiful baby boy! You are obviously very blessed.

Mary said...

After a day at school and giving many many warning looks, I have that wish as well...that i will look at that little first grade baby and love with just gush from my eyes. that when he sees me he sees love and knows that i am there to help...not to scold or keep in line...but to love him to the point that he feels good about himself and will love to learn and love to read and love to be friendly and love to lose in gym class from time to time. but that would take a lot of love to be ok with losing in gym.

hows the mayhem?

greg. said...

hey - good to have a visitor!

mary, i know what you mean. i guess what i was trying to say is that when it gets the hardest for us, we really ought to try and see the child of God that is disguised as a snotty nosed disobedient first grader, or a jazz-tone idiot-head driver in front of me going way-too-slow.

that's what i need to work on. because, i have to remember that i am pretty darn unlovable at times, and this guy named jesus keeps on loving me through it.

the least i can do is see with different eyes. eyes wide with wonder at all of God's children.

that's just what jack and cade taught me today. they are very good teachers.


edrew85 said...

Hey! It sounds like life there is alive and busy and wonderful. I definitely struggle to love people sometimes, and I can ESPECIALLY relate to the idiot-head driver in front of me... it's something to work on.

I read your blog and realized that I've learned at least a little bit in my "Christian Scriptures" class this semester, a few weeks ago I finished a paper on that verse in John 13. I ended up writing about the Johanine community, and how love one another comes out different than in the other gospels. Very interesting stuff, but sometimes I feel like it is much more important to get Jesus' message of love one another than to look at the words, grammar, and context to decide whether Jesus was talking to an exclusive group of disciples or applying it to everyone else too.

The semester is slowly winding down, tons and tons of writing for classes left to do, but I can't wait to graduate and be back in New Jersey again. It will be great to be around a lot more.

Praying for your family,


monica said...

greg, i thought you would appreciate this dads blog http://scottpeterson.typepad.com/ he has a great entry about love being all about bodily fluids. probably experiencing that a lot right now.
blessings on sweet caedmon