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Friday, April 9, 2010

the secret life of bees

"...Women made the best beekeepers 'cause they have a special ability built into them to love creatures that sting." -Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Side note: I'm an English major. I've read a lot of books. A lot of books. The Secret Life of Bees remains my favorite to this day. Read it, read it, read it. Don't forget to read it.

Moving on to anger. There are few things in this world that make me mad. Really, though I lack patience, my fuse tends to burn to frustration, not anger.

However, one thing that really sets me off is judgmental Christians who lack the ability to see their own flaws. Who delve into the lives of their friends, acquaintances, people on the street, whoever, and look for ways that they don't "measure up."

When this starts to happen, I'm like that little girl in the riddle: There once was a girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very very good. When she was bad she was horrid.

When people who proclaim the gospel, while simultaneously proclaiming hatred, and judgment, I become horrid. Because, guess what? We all fall short. That's just as Biblical as "thou shalt not steal," or "thou shalt not commit adultery."

I'm doing it (falling short) right now. Big time. I fell so short just a few minutes ago that I broke down in the university library. On top of that, I word vomited to a classmate, poor thing. I probably scared the crap out of her, flagging her down in the middle of the library lobby. She asked me if I were okay and if I needed a hug, and she didn't even know my name.

A couple of days ago, a bumble bee flew into the open window of my Bible as Literature class. This class has been the thorn in my side (so to speak) all semester long. Eight a.m., MWF, and entails long talks by my professor, professing the illegitimacy of the Christian faith, and just ripping apart the awe of renown Biblical characters.

What joy.

So, anyway, a bee flew into the classroom, and of course, everyone went berserk. We spent a whole five minutes of class time dodging the bee's stinger, and watching our professor slip off her white sandal and make attempts to squash the beast.

The poor thing was running itself up against the closed window, trying to escape (I think it could sense that a classroom full of James Madison students were rooting for its death). A girl in my class watching this shenanigans said "that must be so frustrating."

And you know, that's exactly how it feels for Christ followers who, you know, actually love people. We're trapped in this stereotype that does not bring people to Christ at all, but pushes them away. Instead of being intrigued when people ask me about my faith, I can tell that they are afraid or off put. They're afraid I'm going to tell them that they suck and that they're going to the fiery realm of h-e-double-hockey-sticks upon their demise.

"Christians" do it to other Christians too. People who don't have hobbies like to sit around facebook and look for pictures, evidence that people are sinners.

Here's a thought: spend that time changing yourself. Not trying to change others.

Paul refers to himself as an "ambassador in chains" in his letter to the Ephesians (6:20). We are all ambassadors for Christ, held in bondage to our struggles. So why do we (yes, I say we because I am not in any way dis-including myself from this) immediately point our fingers at those who are doing wrong? Especially those who have not been raised according to the law that we follow, and wouldn't think twice about going against it/even know that they are?

I think it's because we're all so very insecure about our own shortcomings.

And speaking of shortcomings, I realize that writing a blog post about how being judgmental is wrong is, in fact, being judgmental. But, you know, someone had to say it. The "good news" of our faith is that we are all forgiven. So I'm going to proclaim it.

Here's a secret promise we, as Christ-followers, can all make to ourselves: Don't give any more people reasons to believe that Christians are hyper-sensitive judgmental baboons who think that everyone is hell-bound, and have no redeeming qualities about them. Let's love them with the greatest passion. Let's love them with the same passion that Christ loves us with.



Anonymous said...

That was really inspiring!

thebrbb said...

Thanks, and thanks for reading!

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