Many thoughts have been traveling around my brain this past week...
I grew up in a home that I never thought unusual. I had a mom and a dad who loved each other and their children. I had two older brothers, one who bossed me around and told me to "go play marbles on the freeway" and another who lived away from home due to a mental handicap. I had two younger sisters who I played with and fought with. We lived in a small house on a quiet neighborhood street, went to school on the bus, and attended Sunday school each week. We had many friends; at church, at school, and down the street. We rode bicycles and played in the woods, dressed our baby dolls, built block houses for our Fisher Price little people, listened to our dad play his guitar and sing, and said our prayers before climbing into bed at night.
When I listen to old hymns, the words and music bring a sense of peace to my heart. The church is a place of refuge and Bible verses comfort my soul. I know there are those who quote scripture without understanding, never giving a thought to living the words of the Book; I know there are those who claim Christianity but never seek to emulate Christ; I know there are those who sing the songs and sit in a pew every Sunday but don't care a speck for the hurting people in the world. But that is not the home I grew up in, and sometimes I forget that old hymns, Bible verses and Sunday school can bring to others feelings of pain, sorrow, anger and rejection. Sometimes I forget that "the greatest of these is love".
So, I am seeking to understand a world that I am unfamiliar with, looking to love those who are different than me, and searching how to accomplish this without compromising my own faith in a God who loves me and sent His Word to tell me so. He loves me enough to shine His light into the darkened corners of my heart, to scrape away anything that is not of Him, and to fill me with a renewed understanding of the scope of His unending love. He has a better way not only for those who I am seeking to love, but for me too, and He is changing me every day as I give my life over to Him.