I drove along Franklin Rd the other day, and began humming the old song “Why Can’t we Be Friends” to myself. I was re-stunned at how many churches are on that road. I lost count around 20. Check it out on Google maps, the amount of red pins was insane. And this is all under the heading of Christian.
I understand the gravity of someones faith and the importance it plays in a life, but why, when we disagree on some point do we pack up and reconvene with folks that see it “just like we do”. Just a hint, but we never see God exactly the same as our neighbor. If we all knew the truth about each others thoughts on any given day, there would be a lot more churches on Franklin Rd.
I love the congregating part, and am intrigued by folks that think differently than I do. When I talk with those people, I feel like I always walk away with a little wider lens. I’m not saying there is never a good reason to break away, but it saddens me that it feels like a remedy for people and groups. Out of sight, out of mind maybe…but not out of spirit.
If we could agree that nobody has this big fat mystery all figured out, then why can’t we hang a little closer together, maybe trying to see why someone feels like they do. We can break this thought down to our own personal relationships. We don’t see eye to eye with our spouses and children on every topic. We don’t leave them because we see things differently. If it continues to be “our way or the highway”, then I think we’ll be traveling alone more often.
Even when we work together, it seems like religious ideals are the areas that we give lesser ground to our neighbor. The one area that nobody really knows for sure until they die. It is a fear based ? Is the understanding so vast, so complicated that we just pick something. We pick a position, stand behind tradition, dig a hole and hop in?
Maybe, just maybe, Jesus is saying that it isn’t meant to be “figured out”. Our spiritual connection to the Creator isn’t a math problem, it isn’t a line in the sand to pick sides. It’s an extremely personal journey of awakening every day to a new understanding. A deeper connection. One with more love, more mercy, and more peace. If I spend more time listening to my life, my heart, working on my stuff and there’s plenty of it, then I grow. I become more tolerant. I let the notion that I need to be right just slip away.
This post has spoken chiefly to the divisions we have within the Christian faith. What of all the Creators other children? The Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, etc…..Maybe that’s a separate post and a whole other set of walls and bridges.
So, I’ve rambled on enough and not sure if I’ve made much of a point. I would love to hear your thoughts on walls and bridges. What being tolerant means to you. Do you struggle with your own backyard, and if so, does that make you want to talk about someone else’s back yard? What does the heart of Jesus teach us? I hope distilled down to its purest would just be love.
Here’s a little tune to sum it up. “One Love” by a wonderful lover of Jesus, Bob Marley.