Imagine the scene … you or someone you love is out for the evening. A few drinks. A little dance in a local club. All good.
And then someone touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. Your stomach in knots, you take a deep breath and tell the guy that it’s not acceptable for his hands to go there.
And then he beats you up and breaks your nose!
You couldn’t make it up. This happened to a young lady from Oxford. She has the bruises to prove it.
What kind of world would someone need to live in, to believe that that’s the way to treat another human?
It’s easy to blame up-bringing and society but we’ve both heard too many stories of perfectly lovely children with nice families suddenly flipping one day and going bonkers, to believe that it’s all about nurture.
Sure, as parents, we do our best and I really, really hope that it helps our young ones develop into well rounded, kind, loving adults, but it’s never a dead cert. There are too many unknown factors and outside influences that we can’t control. And don’t even get me started on the media and the messages we unconsciously inflict on our loved ones.
Yeah, when I said yesterday that all this gets a bit messy in my brain, I really wasn’t kidding! 😉
But then I got to thinking … if we all value kindness and love so much, why can’t we change the world around us?
If people are inherently good and made in God’s image, can that be encouraged and fostered so that, over time, it really does become like heaven on earth?
Paul talked about us being new creations. Jesus announced that the kingdom is right here, right now.
And yet the same bible that makes those promises also talks about how all of creation is groaning in anticipation. Paul talks about doing what he really doesn’t want to do and you can often hear his pain coming right off the page.
Maybe the messy conflict in my head isn’t that surprising after all? 😉
I have no answers to this one but am compelled to believe that, as conflicted and messy as we are, ultimately (God helping us) we are to live by Jesus’s teaching:
Love God and love other people.
People of faith are commended throughout the bible but of faith, hope and love, the greatest of these is love so here’s to loving, even when we feel like our faith is shaky and our hope might run out.
Because as The Beatles once sang,
Love is all you need.