Some of them (one of them)
It is easy to be harsh with others. It is natural to seek to push others under the water, so that the surface can be reached and we can breathe. Fear does that, causes defenses to go up, barbed-wire over the top so that no one can climb over. Walls are high and thick and can be dangerous to scale. So those who do seek to climb are also both in a defensive and aggressive mode. I believe we all know what we need to do, but can’t much of the time. Fear is like a very big lion gripping the neck of its prey and shaking it unto death or insensibility.
I find it amazing how people from different religious backgrounds go at it with each other. Talk about walls and barbed wire! Perhaps hot tar poured over the top, or bayonets could also be added to the mix; the hell with it, lets add both.
Everybody it seems is going to hell; for just about every religious group has members who with full authority, with all the proper quotes say it is so. Some non-Catholics are absolutely sure that I am going to hell, am a Mary worshiper and that the Pope is the anti-Christ. Some Catholics think the same thing about everyone who is not Catholic. Then again Muslims, well again some of them have their Holy Book and well you guessed it, I am going to hell. I will be dammed by Allah and Jesus Christ because I don’t agree with their faith, or with their infallible interpretation of scripture. Then the atheist (yes some of them), along with agnostics (some of them) kind of damn anyone who is stupid enough, or weak enough, or irrational enough, to believe anything they deem foolish.
Well then there is the political divide, which is no better, though sometimes fun to watch the giving back and forth with each other. Both sides are of course demonic because both sides say they are…well again some of them. Of course I can do a lot of ‘damming’ myself, it seem the natural thing to do.
Listening, seeing, loving and respecting others can be one of the hardest things to do when face to face with someone who can’t return it. Sometimes we are called to show compassion and empathy to those who can only lash our and insult. There have been times in my life, and I am sure there will be others, when I will be unable to return the above. In fact in the past when I was defensive, fearful, angry and insulting towards others and they only responded with kindness and compassion, are both wounding and healing memories for me.. When thinking about those people and how I responded, it is heart breaking, but my learning curve is low, so I am sure I will be an ignorant horses-ass at least one hundred more times in my life.
We all need mercy, compassion and empathy. There are periods in most of our lives I believe, when we all can drown for awhile in anger, bitterness and rage….we can choke on it, yet it is those who see, listen and love us, who in the end bring us all back to sanity.
God’s love is like that I believe. Most of us wrestle with the big questions at least once in our lives, most I believe do it all of the time, and some know they are doing it. Through all of this sputtering, hatred, rage and yes fear, God sees us, loves us, has empathy for us and waits patiently for our slow turning towards him. I believe that not all paths are equal, but I do believe that all men and women are equal before God and to say things about them, their souls, or how God will deal with them, is in fact only worshiping the very worst aspect of our primitive, irrational and fear filled selves.
Lord save us all from your true believers, as well as your true non-believers..... give us loving, forgiving hearts and the knowledge of how little we actually do know.