While I have very little respect for our new President, I feel myself drawn to prayer more than ever. I am trying to see the places God is expanding my heart and my life in confidence, courage, and development as a pursuer of God's Kingdom here on earth. There are great many ways I am noticing a disconnect from His kingdom here on earth. There are an increasing number of my friends and family who see this world, its people, and our God very differently than me, and that is being met with a sadness in my heart.
I am sad to discover just how different I am from those closest to me in perspective, worldview, and values. I am trying to discover in which of those losses I need to allow for a release and a grieving, and which of them are worth the conversations (if they are even possible) where all the differences can be honored, seen, and actually walked through together. I certainly believe both responses are needed for different relationships, but I have a hard time allocating the different responses to which relationships.
When Jesus returns to his hometown in Luke 4, he realizes he also does not perceive the same way as his closest friends and family in very fundamental understandings of the world and the kingdom. (I am NOT saying I am Jesus in this scenario, btw). In Luke 4, I read of his return, and I watch how he interacts with his own people.
I watch how he relates to those who represent his roots (so to speak). I read while trying to learn how to interact myself, because my heart and mind are set ablaze with anger with those closest to me and dampened by a deep sadness at the same time.
Anthony De Mello watches Jesus in this moment and says, "Jesus divides not just the good people from the bad, but good people among themselves."
He is gracious AND antagonistic at the same time in this interaction. I find myself wondering when heaps of grace is necessary to cover the differences we have and when is it necessary to antagonize the beliefs and worldviews I just cannot support and see as entirely against the values and perspectives of Jesus.
Through it all, I find myself wondering when courage is required to step into those moments and when wisdom says "this battle simply is not worth it."
I am certain to keep my heart and mind aware of the people I live my life with "whose holiness I fail to see because I focus overmuch on their shortcomings and defects" (De Mello). I want my life to be more like Jesus than it was yesterday...more than it was a week ago, a month ago, years ago.
So...I am watching this interaction of Jesus very closely today.