With headlines about police brutality, religious extremism, and police being targeted, it’s easier than ever to stay within your own circle, never branching out. More than ever, kids are growing up with a strong sense of “stranger danger.” Scripture clearly commands, “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” in the book of Mark, but how can we live this out today? It was on a recent Airbnb stay that my wife and I started to dig into this topic.
Scripture says that people are the greatest manifestation of God’s glory, even more than nature, which Psalm 19 tells us reveals who God is. I love a quote by author Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. He says that cities have the greatest concentration of the image of God per square mile by virtue of having so many people in them.
I often think of that when I’m on the subway, crammed in with many people,
I believe in a God who shows up everywhere, not just in churches. I believe that awkward things turned around have the whiff of God about them. I don’t know how all this works; if I did, the very fact of it being easily explainable would take away the mystery that makes it supernatural, beyond natural. But I do believe it, and here’s one experience of why:
I was recently at a wedding. One of the bridesmaids was all set to sing a sacred song as part of the church service.
Do “folks” really dress up like Eskimos for Christmas?
Does Richard Simmons wear that outfit to church and to the opera?
Can the cowboy and the farmer really be friends?
Has Elton John been waiting all these years to name a kid “Levon?”
When we see those we consider “downtrodden,” do we ever wonder who’s been treading?
63 degrees and windy. Spring. iPod. Sunglasses. Time. A feast for the senses as I walk through the neighborhood.
What I learned:
It takes an hour to go about a mile if you stop and smell every flower.
Peonies have a riotous smell that brings tears to my eyes; I want my life to be like that flower smells.
Songs can feel like colors; Barbara Streisand’s voice is golden-salmon stucco. She nails “Can’t Help Lovin’