A fourth post about “my witness,” brief reflections on truths I have learned from my experience with Jesus.
For me, no other story makes as much sense out of the perplexity and mystery of life as the story of Jesus. His story fires my imagination and warms my heart. I am convinced that he is the way of truth into life as God means it to be. Because of what I have experienced in the company of Jesus, and because of what I know about the yearning, beauty and brokenness of the world, I am also convinced that we need Jesus.
So does Ashville. Over the years I have been here, in different ways, I have been asking our church: do we really love Asheville as it is, or do we love it as it used to be or as we wish it was? Are we willing to serve and love the actual people who live here, or are we going to reserve our love only for people who look, think, act, and live like us? Are we willing to acknowledge that people don’t change quickly, but that they don’t change at all until they know they are respected and accepted as they are?
Do we truly believe that the people whose lifestyles we find most distasteful and whose values we least understand are people with whom God wants to share life and friendship? If God wants friendship with them, what about us? Are we willing to welcome everyone, EVERYONE, give them the respect they deserve as bearers of God’s image, listen to them, hear the cries of their hearts, and patiently, tenderly love them into the willingness to hear from us about our experience with Jesus?