I saw this on the FB page of Author Jen Hatmaker and found it provocative and indicting. Thought I would share:
It really can be dreadful, this Jesus life. Just dreadful. I completely agree and suffer through all the same anxiety about it. I really do. I desire about 64% of Jesus. That is about all of Him and His ways I can handle. I really mean this. For every 6 things I like about Jesus' stuff, there are 4 that I am totally willing to ignore or discredit. I do it every day, you guys. I look several things in the eye and say NOPE. I hover around a D-.
Take Matthew 25, for example. What a disaster! Jesus so deeply identifies himself with the prisoner and the hungry and the stranger and the naked and poor, He says, "When you consider them and their plight, imagine that it is actually Me you are serving."
Let me tell you something, Jesus: LOW BLOW. I do NOT want to see your face in the faces of these complicated, hurting, needy people. When I see a prisoner, I want to see "criminal." When I see the homeless, I want to see "addict." When I see a refugee, I want to see "threat" or at least "financial drain."
What I do not want to see is your sweet face.
Why couldn't you identify with more stable people? We like you in the faces of our children and best friends, for example. We like you in our government and in our Family Friendly Movies. We like you in our pretty churches and gated neighborhoods.
We do not want to see you in the faces of the poor. That sucks. Now you are really messing with us. You do realize what this sort of holy identification will cost and require, right?
Why?? Why did you have to say all that in Matthew 25? I very much prefer Christian rules to this nonsense. (And it is nonsense, Jesus. Your ways do not make any sort of conventional sense.) I know we are to live this death and resurrection with you, but I only like the resurrection part. I'm serious. I want to skip the death part because it is too hard and requires way too much dying. Rules! You know we prefer rules! If we just dress modestly and don't say the f-word, can we call it a day?
It is so hard down here, Jesus. People are so hurt and scared and abused and confused. We want to follow you but your ways are so terrifying sometimes. Thanks for looking into our faces and seeing "brothers and sisters" instead of cowards and charlatans. You have always elevated our status. I guess if you can see us through miraculous eyes then maybe we have the capacity to look at others and see, well, you.
All this is so hard, Jesus. This world is so banged up. We need you. Help us. Strengthen our faith. Help us trust you. Break our hearts if you must. Give us new eyes to see.