God Forgives

“no we’re never gonna survive, unless we get a little crazy.”
-Seal

I’m not in a field today.
I’m in a coffee shop in Nashville.
“Fido” to be exact.
But you know, I guess that could sort of be a field if you look at it properly.
With the right amount of imagination, and just a touch of crazy, and
if people were prairie dogs and coffee cups, dandelions,
and Fiona Apple playing over the sound system was the wind in my ears….

O.k. I’m stretching.

But when I lived in Florida I used to meet God in a field behind
my house, and now that I live in Tennessee, due to climate and conditions
beyond my control, I can’t always go outside,
so now, I meet Him at a table.
However, I’m fairly convinced that the “how” still doesn’t change the “who,”
so even though I’m surrounded by caffeine and conversation at the moment,
I can still be blown away that right now, staring at a computer screen,
I am meeting with the divine.
With God Himself.
Sitting here with me.
Watching me.
Talking to me.
Filling the air around me.
Dwelling In me…

And it all got started by some crazy love.
His crazy love.
The crazy love that would drive God to earth,
clothe Him in flesh, and then send Him to die.
And for what?
For us?
For me?
I think this is even more bewildering
than the fact that He can fit inside a 5’8” frame.

Think about it. We’re talking God here.
The one who is big enough to name every star and solar system,
every animal and every child, every cat and coffee shop,
died…for us.
To give us love.
His love.
It’s crazy.

I mean, if I had an ant farm, I think I would watch them,
laugh at them, and perhaps even feel a slight twinge of affection
for them from time to time, but die for them?
Come on!
What kind of absolute lunatic do you take me for?
And in retrospect, what kind of madman is this God we worship anyway?

I think that’s what has been buzzing in my head for the last two days.
God is crazy.
Yeah, yeah, it’s a sacra religious statement and all,
but I’m really starting to think that He is.
Him dying for us is just the beginning.
The more that I’m diving into the actual things He said,
well, to quote Morpheus,
it’s kind of shocking to see “just how far the rabbit hole goes.”

Here, just listen to this:
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you…”

Oh boy.

He goes on.
“to the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also,
and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.
Give to everyone who begs from you,
and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.”

And this is about the time I start to look for something else to read,
because quite frankly, crazy cuts like a knife.

You see, I read these words and it makes me realize that Jesus was absolutely,
without a doubt, one hundred percent crazytown.
“Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do!”
I read that and I think, “Maybe He was delusional.
Maybe He was just saying that to make Himself look loving,
because He knew He was going to die anyway.
I mean, I’ve done that kind of stuff before.”
But then there’s these words here in Luke 6 that I have to deal with too.
Words that were in no way stress or suffering induced
and said from a sound mind…sort of.
Jesus’ words here, give me no other alternative but to assert that God Himself has
lost his mind with love, and to top it off, is calling me to do the same.

If you get a chance,
read all of this chapter sometime,
and let His words drive you stark raving mad.
Because that’s the only way to live like Him,
and it’s the only way that people are going to see Him in our lives.
To love like Him, you have to get a little crazy.
You have to believe that He was crazy enough to forgive you,
and transversely, you have to be demented enough
to do the same for those who wrong you.

After all, grace is not for those who are of a sound mind.
Jesus even says that sane people don’t love like Him.
Sure they will love people who love them, and lend to people
who pay on time, but ask them to get close to someone who might
hurt them, and they’ll run for reason,
because safety always make sense and forgiveness never does.

So although I don’t even begin to understand all of who this Jesus is,
I’m going to praise God that He isn’t sane,
that “he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
because that’s good news for a reasonable people like you and me.
For we were safe and secure in our sins and indifference,
repaying evil with evil, perpetuating the cycle of revenge,
when God, who is rich in mental illness, and abounding in
unclear thinking died and did good to those who never did
anything good for Him. May we unlearn to do the same.

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
-Luke 6:36