Two months ago, I was enjoying the landscape of serene Amish farms—they were green, but also yellow, blue, and purple at sunset. It was a wonderful week in Lancaster with NextGen!
There are so many takeaways from that time together, but one that has been continually chiming in my ear was Shawna’s “Belong. Believe. Behave.”
Watch it here: VIDEO
Recently, there was an outcry against the LGBTQ+ community at a public library in my hometown. It was all started by an individual who was offended that the library had hired a person who did not wear gender-conforming dress in the children’s department. The incident snowballed fast from there—hundreds of protesters from each side gathered to defend their point of view. Many Christians spoke out against the library’s dress code, the books they stocked, and their Pride Month display.
But, in the midst of all this public debate, I started thinking about one person—-the library employee. What impression do they have of Jesus and God’s Kingdom after the past few weeks? If I worked at the library, would I keep my distance from them or approach them in acceptance? How can I be sure that I am honoring God’s view on sexuality while simultaneously honoring this individual?
I don’t have perfect answers to these questions, but I look to Jesus to teach me how to follow God and love others. In the Bible, I read that God beckons every person as they are into a relationship with Him. So, my desire is to open doors for those around me to see and believe that Jesus loves everyone—right now, without any “but firsts.” I recently heard someone say something along the lines of “to be fully known and not loved is our greatest fear; to be fully known and fully loved is our greatest desire.” Even when I fail to love others as Jesus did, I can still succeed in viewing others as Jesus did: a beloved child of God, fully known and fully loved by Him.
I recently heard someone paraphrase Timothy Keller, saying “to be fully known and not loved is our greatest fear; to be fully known and fully loved is our greatest desire.”