I Was Thinking…
Have you ever had words jump off the page at you? You were reading a book; an article or even the Bible when all of a sudden there was a word, a phrase, a paragraph that seemed written just for you? I know I have had this experience on many occasions.
It could have to do with context. If I’m struggling with something…some decision…some person…some issue then subconsciously that ‘need’ is looking for some insight. And BOOM…words jump off the page. Or it could be the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit slips up on me quite often causing me to see and hear that which I had no idea I needed to see or hear. The Holy Spirit uses the page of a book, an article or even the Bible and words jump off the page at me.
We all have filters that affect what we see and hear. Communicators tell us we need to hear and/or see things about seven times before we really hear and/or see them. However there are occasions when suddenly the filter is lowered and the message comes through loud and clear…words jump off the page.
Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when he said “If anyone comes to me and does not ‘hate’ his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes even his own life—he cannot be my disciple”(Luke 14:26)? Those words jump of the page at me.
The reality is that we must all leave home to find the real and larger home. Richard Rohr writes “The nuclear family has far too often been the enemy of the global family and mature spiritual seeking.” (Falling Upward, P.84) It takes therapists years to accomplish what Jesus pulls no punches toward when he says we must ‘hate’ family. Establishing appropriate boundaries from wounding parents and early authority figures, and to heal inappropriate shame in those who have been wounded is no easy task but if we are to grow and mature spiritually we must learn to leave home in order to find home. Those words jump off the page at me.
Where is prejudice learned? Where is negative spirit learned? Where is judging others learned? Where is gossip perfected? To no fault of our own these things are often imprinted in us at home. We must hate it to mature beyond it.
Even in the best of families there is imperfection and a spiritual maturation journey in motion. Depending on where we intersect that journey and where those imperfections intersect us…there can be a lot of stuff to hate. Those words jump off the page at me.
So maybe what Jesus was trying to say to those early learners and to us is that the opposite of love is not ‘hate’ but the unwillingness to hate those things that keep us dormant of soul…regardless of their origin. Those words jump off the page at me…how about you?