I started writing last week about looking for Jesus in room 6161. I like the idea of thinking about how Jesus would be a hospital chaplain. Or, perhaps, how a chaplain would learn from discovering Jesus cleaning a room, or Jesus changing a diaper, or Jesus comforting a grieving family member.
I think that I’ll do more of that as I take time to write.
But I’m struggling a little with writing creatively when I am watching more statements talking about how foolish other people are than I am seeing comments about ways to love those people.
A really complicated sentence.
Here’s what I mean.
There are people who are hurting. There are people grieving. There are people worried about loved ones. There are people leading funerals for people they loved.
Jesus offers the possibility of loving our enemies. And praying for those who actually persecute us (let alone disagree with us.) He offers the possibility of graciously greeting our sisters and brothers and those who are not. He offers the possibility of rebuilding relationships by asking forgiveness. He suggests that we pray that God’s will be done on earth the way that it is in heaven, which means that I am praying that I will be letting God’s will and kingdom come IN me and then THROUGH me.
We could, rather than devoting ourselves to pretending to be theologians or cultural critics or epidemiologists or perfect, devote ourselves to looking for people with broken hearts and broken bodies and offer them love.
We could send a postcard a week to someone who is alone. We could offer a week of not sharing our opinion on things we don’t understand. We could reflect on Paul’s counsel to Titus, the teacher: “I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone. But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the [religious] law, because they are unprofitable and worthless.”
We could. If we chose to.