Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jesus Loved You Enough to Die for You

Their is a lot of bile floating around, hurt feelings, accusations... if you listen, you can easily drown in it. Their are things about the church that are troubling, and that is as it should be. Doubts, human error, cruelty, these things also exist among us. They have even affected our history and they continue to affect our attitudes today. We are also human, and we have made a human culture around the gospel of Christ. These things are to be expected... avoided, but expected.

These problems help us to grow. However, they are not your problems, I think.

I told you why I liked you, because to me you seemed to need a reason to like yourself. I can tell you I like you because you are kind, desirable physically and mentally, but I don't think that this will help you. You will say it's not true, that I'm seeing what I want to see, or worse, that my liking you comes out of a base sensuality unbefitting a follower of Christ, and you will wonder again if their is anything worthy inside of you to be loved.

I can tell you, I have felt the same for such a long time. I have grown weary of it. It plagued me on my mission, in my dating endeavors, haunting me like a crocodile just under still water; a gargantuan creature I always tip-toed around, careful not to wake. I was certain that if I woke that awful beast, it would consume all my friends and family, but I also knew that even if I grew black-plumed wings, I would never be able to out-fly it's grasp on me. It held my soul, because the crocodile was me.

I want so much for you to know that God loves you for who you are. I want you to see you--the real you. The you that Christ knows, that I am confident you are, that you feel you will never measure up to. When you do good, I don't want you to feel it is to erase some terrible flaw. Even if you have a fatal flaw, mending that weakness is the office of Jesus. Yours is to accept what He has done with all of your might, mind and strength.

I don't want you or anyone to leave the Church. In fact, it is my sincere desire that all people, old and young, free and bound, from every nation, kindred... gay or straight, nonsexual, reprobate, the pure and the unpure... everyone, everywhere could receive the Gospel.

I see myself as a sort of missionary for those who are in danger of leaving the Church over this issue. Not because I am better than anyone, although I am certainly in danger of thinking so every once in a while. I can feel my own frailty, I know that man, all men, are as nothing. I wonder if I could really help anyone, and yet watching others struggle with those same issues I have faced, that I continue to face, I cannot help wanting to 'fix' things.

A friend of mine reminded me this morning that I can't. People have to fix their own problems, ask for their own advice. But I can write, and I can listen, and I can try to be a good example. What else can I do?

What could I do or say to help you? If I ask you to accept your own feelings--to let go--will you feel I am tempting you to give in to your basest desires? Will you see that I want you to be happy and have a fulfilling relationship with whomever you ultimately decide to spend your eternities with?

Then how else can I get you to realize that you are a worthwhile human being, a spiritual child of a Heavenly Father who loves you just as He made you? If you cannot accept yourself, how can I help you to see that Jesus loved you enough to die for you? To feel all your pain and suffering; to know you in a way that no other person can?

I really want to know. I have too many friends who hate themselves. Gay friends, straight friends, it doesn't matter. And I just wish I knew what else I could say. I love you. You are worth loving. Stop focusing on what others think about you, and go love them! Love them like Jesus loves them.

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