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Monday, February 15, 2016

Welcome

i hate locked doors.

By extension, i hate being ignored, passively or actively locked out of a conversation, a group, a place where i was hoping to enter, participate in or just listen to.  i don't need to be celebrated, i don't have to have the recognition and delight of every participant, i just want to be included, allowed, given a fair shake. 

Welcome. 

America is locking its doors.  Fear and jealousy is taking over.  Selfishness.  If we share with you, there won't be enough for us.  If we let you in, you might do something violent.  If we let a lot of you in, we may change.  We won't be in charge anymore.  There is danger in welcome.  Guests are not always pleasant.  Hospitality is costly.  Safety is tenuous.  Comfort is more comfortable.  Welcome is vulnerable.

Vulnerable is scary. 

You have to assume damage if you are going to love the damaged.  And everyone is damaged.  None are healthy, no, not one.  Everyone is hurting from something.  And where they've been hurt, they have learned mechanisms to defend themselves.  Where they've been denied, they've learned skills to get what they think they need.  Those mechanisms and skills are broken, they are almost always sinful and damaging, but they work in the short term and that's all that matters to the damaged and the needy.  If you let them in, you are going to be stolen from, you are going to be hurt, your stuff is going to get broken.  They may be ungrateful.  They may lie about you.  They may hurt you.  They might even beat you up. 

They might kill you. 

They might drag you through your own streets, nail you onto a beam and hang you up for public ridicule.  This is what happens if you cross us!  This is what happens when you welcome!  This is what happens when you love! 

People call Christians intolerant.  They accuse us of being exclusive.  Unwelcoming and i'm sure they've got some examples they could hold up.  We are all broken, we are all damaged and some have yet to understand the God they believe in.

But that's not what we are.  Christians are people pointing to a door.  Testifying about a door.  You don't enter a house through the wall.  Only thieves go into a temple through the window.  You enter a kingdom through a gate.  Through a door.  Jesus is the door.  He's literally the way in. 

And for now, he's not locked.