Beyond Leviticus....

>> Wednesday, January 27, 2010

For the second time in my young adult life, I decided to devote myself (once again) to following the path of Jesus that is illuminated in Scripture. With the homeless and travelling days still fresh in my not too distant past, I had many open wounds from those experiences. I already felt unworthy to step foot into a church, but came to the realization that my love for Jesus and His Father had to supersede any fears I had. I decided to revisit a church that I went to in high school. My hair was an intense shade of pink and I had visible tattoos. I walked into the foyer with my eyes looking to the ground. I tried to make my way to the sanctuary but got stopped rather harshly by a man standing near the doors. He started quoting Leviticus and was shaking his head at me in a scolding manner. Disgust was written all over his face. At that moment, I wanted to disappear. I didn't understand why he was quoting Leviticus to me while clean shaven. I told him to go grow out his sideburns and briskly walked towards the pews. I would like to say that this was the only time that I was treated this way, but this is sadly not the case. Many times I have experienced the cold shoulder or evil eye from a Believer --in the house of God, no less. I cannot help but think about how wrong this is on so many levels. What about grace? What about hope for the lost in Jesus? Aren't we all in the same boat without Christ?
As I think about those not so nice encounters, I am also reminded of the ways in which I have maybe not so blatantly given others the cold spiritual shoulder. I often find myself sizing up other Believers while looking for holes in their theology. I act as if I am expecting them to mess up. A friend once said to me that he found it surprising that people act shocked when broken people fall. "Of course they're going to fall!'' he said...and he's right, but thankfully there is hope. There is grace. There is so much more beyond the book of Leviticus.
In what ways can you extend more grace and kindness to those who appear to be lost and broken?


Kaira January 27, 2010 at 8:58 PM  

I've been that man so many times - the one looking at someone with disgust. It's shameful. I love to hear your words - they are good for my soul.

You'll see plenty of my holes as you get to know me better and I invite you to call me out with a swiftness. That's the kind of friend I need more of in my life - ones who aren't afraid to speak truth. :)

Burkulater January 29, 2010 at 5:56 PM  

I've been on both ends...

I cannot believe how other Christians act, but I still surprise myself at how spiritually infantile I can be. Planks, right?

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