This was originally posted on 12-15-2012
I’ve heard the cliché that we were all created with a God-shaped hole in our hearts. The point being that we are incomplete without God. I believe that, however, I believe we misunderstand that point. I believe that, many times, God’s shape, in this instance, is people.
The way He intends to fill us, to guide us, to teach us, to lead us, to comfort us, and to love us, is through people. People are His heart. So there is indeed a hole in our hearts that only God can fill, but its shape is community. A better word to use would be His Church.
Not that religious service you choose to attend every however many times a week. The Church is the Body of Christ, the Ecclesia, the called out assembly. But called out for what purpose? Indeed, it is multifaceted, but have we missed it? I believe so. We’ve taken aspects of the Bible and build doctrines out of it; we’ve taken portions and made denominations. Then it’s an internal war and those on the outside look at us and say “They can’t even get their acts together; why would we want what they have?”
Paul listed off three things he felt were important; faith, hope and love. But he said the greatest of these is love.
What a novel Idea. Is love a thought? A concept? Or an action? Perhaps a lifestyle? I believe it should start as a thought and be personified through our lives. The thing about love is that there must be a recipient for it to have meaning. Not just a focus. There is a difference. I could love you, but if you don’t know it, see it, recognize it, and/or felt it, is it worth anything? It’s not enough simply to give it; it must be received. Can inanimate objects receive love? No. Therefore people are the purpose.
Here’s an interesting question: Did Jesus come to abolish sin?
Why do I say that? Because sin still exists, which means either He failed or that wasn’t His task. No, He came to abolish the bondage of sin on the lives of……
The focus was never the sin, but the negative effects it had on His people. We are the ones who focus on sin. But His purpose was always people. His love, His passion, was centered on people.
I emphasize people because that is the model Jesus gave to us by which to live. There is no truer love then when someone lays down their life for their friends. Do we love like this? I dare say no.
Jesus only gave us two commandments; love God and love people. We fail at both, because the second is a side effect of the first. Somewhere along the path, we lost our way. Instead of focusing on family and friends and community, we focus on money, power, and wealth. Maybe these pursuits were noble at first, thinking we could better provide for our families and friends and communities if we possess money, power, and wealth. Maybe that is the lie we bought for justification. Whatever brought us to this path, I think we can agree it’s not right.
If love was our drive, our purpose, our reason….
…would those 20 children still be here?
[This was written shortly after the school shooting in Newtown, CT in December of 2012]
We can hate and disassociate and segregate ourselves all we want, but we committed those crimes. We may not have pulled the trigger, but we are just as guilty. How, you ask? We are guilty because we are all to blame for what we, as a nation, have become. The one who pulled the trigger is no different from any of us. We have that same potential; we are just as human. Or just as inhumane. For he is us and we are him. We are one people. When will we take responsibility for that fact?
We have a mandate to love. I have no doubt that, had this person experienced true and authentic love, this tragedy would not have happened. That brings it closer to home. That brings it to my front door. To mine and yours.
“What could cause a man to do such a thing? I surely would never do something like that.”
It goes back to that God-shaped hole we all seem to have in our hearts. Some of us are blessed enough to have that void filled with God. Some of us have not. When we are not satisfied—when we do not have our appetites satiated—we will search and find something with which to fill that emptiness. Something; anything. No matter how dangerous. No matter how destructive. Perhaps this person only felt alive by taking another life. Perhaps he was jealous of the love those kids received; a love that he felt denied. I cannot know. But I can say this; it would not have happened if the unfilled aspect of his heart had been overflowing with God.
“What does it matter now? It’s done; they’re gone!”
Do you think there aren’t others like him? Like us? Wanting, seeking, and striving, with deep hunger, to be fulfilled? What if God wants to use you to bring love to that person? His love. And you are too worried about your life, your goals, and your dreams…and then more tragedy occurs. How, then, is the blood not on your hands?
What if it is you that is empty? What kind of thoughts are running through your head? Does your melancholy existence lead you to justifications that have you doing things you never thought you would? What are you attempting to fill your God-shaped void with? Drugs? Sex? Alcohol? Pornography? Cutting? Or is yours still subtle? Do not be so deceived as to think that you could never get there. Every choice we make brings us closer to something; we need to make sure that something lines up with our goals and purpose.
So what is the answer? Gun control? Metal detectors?
The answer is love.
Love is the only thing that can conquer the heart of man, no matter how far off course it treads. Love, not war. Love, not hate. Love, not judgment. Love, not legislation. God said that vengeance is His. Let Him do His thing and let us focus on the only two things He told us to focus on; loving Him and loving each other.