Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Love Looks Like in Public

I recently encountered the blog written by Kathy Escobar (listed in my blog list as "the circus in my mind" because for some reason my blog engine will not allow me to change the title). Last week she wrote a great piece on feminism and how people can get hung up on the word rather than understanding the core issue of restoring dignity. I was planning to comment on that post, until I read what she posted yesterday

She describes how earlier in her life she transitioned from being a passionate advocate for equal rights and social change into focusing on more conservative issues: "the erosion of morality in America, the horrors of public education, and making sure tax money wasn't spent on things I disagreed with." At some point though she realized:

"I was not hungering and thirsting for justice. I was hungering and thirsting for a false feeling of safety and protection that I felt entitled to as a Christ-follower."

In other words, as she admits, "It was all about me."

What's more, she says, "It didn't satisfy....It was for [sic] more focused on being 'right' than being kind, on distrust than love, on self than others, on division than unity."

Her words and her experience spoke powerfully to me. When I think about the conservative Christian agenda for this country, I see exactly what she speaks of. I see people afraid of losing power and control and in their efforts to hold on to those things acting out of anger, fear, distrust and, yes, selfishness. I do not see the attitude of Christ, who gave up his position, his power, his authority and became a servant to show God's love. He didn't try to defend a status quo, or even to return society to some perceived earlier Golden Era. He demonstrated love to the broken and outcast and he challenged the power and abusive behavior of those in positions of control and authority.

I have to ask myself, as Kathy says of herself, whether my efforts to protect myself, my family and even my culture do not reflect Jesus, but reflect only a particular cultural view. And if I'm honest, the answer must be yes.

"Self-protection, culture-protection will never satisfy, will never quench our thirst."

Read Kathy's article and tell her or me what you think. Are we as Christ-followers in America more focused on pursuing our own self-protection than thirsting for God's justice and righteousness? What does love look like in public, particularly in a multicultural society?

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