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Dave Brisbin | 10.28.18
A friend tells me he wants to take his motorhome up to Canada and stay for at least three months or more because he can’t stand being a part of the U.S. anymore. I figure it’s because of his politics, but as we talk, what comes out is a real grieving over the state of all relations in our country: race, political, religious, social, cultural, generational…he’s ashamed to be a part. Though we do talk about how many hours a day he spends watching cable news, he has a point. What’s happening in our country? The short answer is fear. People are afraid of not maintaining their quality of life or that of their children. And scared people build walls. Real ones and mental ones. Emotional ones. Religious, political, social, and cultural ones. And as soon as we build a wall, we create enemies of those on the other side. Even if we don’t mean to, it’s the nature of walls. 

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Jesus tells us to love our enemies, not to judge those on the other side. If we are to love as Jesus loves, as the Father loves, what does that really mean? And how do we know if we’re actually doing it? Paul was a man full of walls, and so by definition, full of fear. Early Jewish followers of Jesus offended Paul’s certainty about Judaism and later Jewish followers of Jesus offended his certainty about Gentile followers. But by the end of his life, he writes that he is at peace with his weaknesses and content in all circumstances. To love like Jesus and the Father is to become unoffendable. To grant enough freedom to the enemy to live peacefully on the other side of our walls until the moment we realize those walls no longer exist.

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