I love knowing the ending before I start...it helps me relax and enjoy the process. I actually got used to getting to checking the final score on football games while we lived in the UK because the time change meant that we always watched them the next day. We were watching the Seahawks in their playoff game against Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and it was torture to not know the end! Of course I always keep the final score to myself because the other members of my family like the suspense. So for those of you who like suspense here is a spoiler alert.....love wins. In the end love wins.
Now the suspense comes, not from an unknown ending but from what happens between now and then. In my almost 40 years I've concluded that we gravitate towards people who are like us, who agree with us, who live with similar paradigms as us. It is easier to get along with people who agree with us. Cross cultural communication takes work.
So the question isn't really how we are going to treat people who agree with us but how we are going to relate to people we don't agree with, who are different. When Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself I'm not sure He meant your neighbor who looks just like you, votes the same way as you, spends money the way you do and has the same values. But love your neighbor as in someone other than you.
I don't think that loving your neighbor means we stand idly by in the face of injustice and of wrong. Nor does it mean that we all have to agree. But somehow in the midst of the divisiveness and difference we have to figure out how we are going to treat people who are different. This really is the story of history...treating "the other" like ourself has never been a strength. It helps me to remember that the fight isn't against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. That everyone is made in God's image. It helps me to remember that I don't actually know what the story is behind other people's perspectives, nor can I always access their thinking and reasoning.
The power of love comes when it is able to cross over difference. To love our "enemy". Ultimately this I think is the true test of following Jesus. What it looks like practically isn't alway easy to sort out. But that doesn't change the call. And in the love wins. So if it a choice between love and fear I'm going with love.
Ali Millikan, Author
I love Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. I love my husband and kids. I believe that God is in the room with us; that hearing God's voice is for everyone and that it will change your day to day reality.