I like how Brad Jersak talks about how Jesus came to show us what it means to be God and what it means to be human. The old way basically said that humans were scum of the earth. But this new-to-me way has surprised me so much with learning how much God loves us. Not just tolerates us. Or begrudgingly accepts us.
No, think of your infant child. Pooping. Unable to do anything to help themselves. Only a so-called burden. Only able to cry. Only receiving. And what do you call that precious infant? Many times, perfect. Perfect as they roll around in their poop. Perfect as they cry and scream. Perfect as they keep you up at night. Perfect as they barf on your dress clothes. Or pee on your clean shirt. Or drool all over your shoulder. Perfect.
You don’t have a child and the first time they poop or barf or drool or cry, you take them out into the backyard and throw them on the bar-be-que. And then declare that you’ve been avenged for their wrong-doing. No, you fully expect that they don’t have a clue. You gave life to this child. You don’t expect it to get it right the first time.
Even when the child gets older. Do you take them out into the back and put them on the burn pile if they break a glass or draw on the walls or spill a bowl of milk? That would be barbaric.
How would that be merciful? And yet generation after generation we teach this domestic violence from the pulpit. We teach our children that they should grovel and be happy for whatever crumbs they can get. From us, from anyone else. Especially from God. A breeding ground for abusers. A breeding ground for manipulative people with ulterior motives.
But we are so married to our theology versus our God. A friend, Taqui, broke a spell I was under at one time. By reminding me that perfect love casts our fear. If there is fear, then it isn’t from God. I feel very confident in saying that. From experience. That you can try but will fail to argue away with a million different verses as proof.
And I pray someone loves you that way some day. To where you finally know real love doesn’t involve fear. Or throwing children, who even Jesus said don’t know any better, on barbeques for their first mistakes. Or even their first mistakes after the age that you determine they are so-called accountable.