Half the country is upset, and half the country is feeling glad.
Here’s a very, very radical idea: love everyone.
Love your favorite politician. Love the opposition. Love followers of each of them – all of them. I didn’t say you should or have to agree with them!
So calm down and try it again if needed: love everyone! You don’t have to agree with anyone you don’t want to. You don’t have to like or love their positions. You just have to love God with all your heart, soul and strength; and others as yourself – and please love yourself with the God kind of love.
Agape everyone. Your politician. (Yes, I know you’re not as attached when you do this; it’s all right.) The opposition. Yes, you really can do it; or it would not be the most important commandments. Love everyone. God, your politician and followers, the opposition and their followers. Agape them all. God first, everyone else second. Everyone.
Yes, that’s right, everyone!
And you don’t have to agree with anyone that you don’t want to.
Agape. You can do it. And when you have difficulty, ask for help.
Ask for more of Holy Spirit; receive with faith – already given! Follow Holy Spirit. Express love out of your New Person, to everyone. The generous, God kind of love.
Now go ahead and disagree all you want. Just keep agape – for everyone! What a radical idea. Doing as Jesus says. Radical.
We all want to hear God well, and nearly all of us want to hear God better.
There are horse whisperers, people who pay exquisite attention to horses and learn; there are dog whisperers, people who pay wonderfully attentive attention to dogs.
What you may not know is that there are people who help you hear God better. Not prophets who hear God for us, sometimes. (Although since Jesus came, we are to hear God for ourselves, and what a prophet says should resonate because of Holy Spirit confirming to us what a prophet says.)
These are people who are what I sometimes call, “God Listener’s”, and their job is to help you hear God better for yourself. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
There is a long tradition of such ministry, going back to at least the “Desert Fathers”, usually solitary monks who lived in the desert. From them a succession of ministers have helped people hear God for themselves.
Today we often call these people, “Spiritual Directors” or “Spiritual Friends”. You can look up these terms, they are well known. There is a long tradition of such people who help others to hear God better. This is a precious ministry.
They don’t listen for you; they help you hear God better for yourself. A ministry worth having, if not having always, at least sometimes.
We have all had periods of time that are rough. I remember one particular time when that was happening to me. My computers were not working right. My dogs were misbehaving. Around the house things were not working well or would break. I prayed about it, for these things and against these things. I finally decided I must be having a problem with demons. So I told them to leave. Usually not a problem for me – but the problems persisted.
So I called on a God Listener who I knew was very good with unclean spirits and asked for help. She managed to convey to me rather quickly that the problems were not demonic in origin. The problems were being caused by my own attitude. She told me that my wrong attitude and my own energy was causing the problems with my computers, dogs, and household appliances.
This was not what I wanted to hear. I wanted her to fix the problem for me. (Sound familiar?) But, I knew she was right. Holy Spirit confirmed what she was saying.
So I changed my attitude and my energy. The problems quickly went away and disappeared. I was blessed to have the help of a good God Listener, because I needed help to hear God well. And to solve problems that I mistakenly thought were being caused by demonic spirits when it was my own attitude and energy that was causing difficulties.
When you have big problems, opportunities you are not sure what to do with, when you need good guidance – a God Listener can be a huge help – so you can more reliably and accurately hear God for yourself – especially when doing so matters even more than usual.
You can easily learn more about God Listeners, Spiritual Friends or Spiritual Directors. There is more information than you might at first suspect.
In the culture of the Old Testament, normally people were considered clean, unless they came into contact with the unclean, such as by touching a dead body.
(Various bible translations use “Holy” and “Clean” for the same word; and “Unholy” and “Unclean” for another word. For me, “Holy” is more powerful; and “Clean” is more clear. Which words do you prefer?)
There is an important key principle here:the Unclean is more contagious than the Clean.
There is an important and parallel principle: When the Unclean came into contact with the Holy of Holies, the Unclean became Clean.
This is a ceremonial lesson about Jesus: who is the Holy of Holies and who makes clean whatever he comes into contact with.
So there is another important key principle here:the Holy of Holies is more contagious than the Unclean.
Which has important implications in healing and other ministry.
Jesus, his Anointing, and the Holy of Holies are a great context for ministry, such as preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God, healing the sick or freeing the bound.
The Holy of Holies is a model of Jesus, who makes everything clean, who makes us whole, and who heals who has set us free. Jesus has overcome the world!
You might not know; you may even be doing both – being empathic and receiving a Word of Knowledge – one of the Spiritual gifts – about someone else.
Add compassion, like Jesus, to your gentle awareness of pain – the healing and ministry is better, easier, faster.
You can do these things for others, especially when you have a Word of Knowledge that allows you to feel and experience what is going on with the other person. You can often do this for others in intercessory prayer.
I wonder if this is is how Jesus sometimes healed. I think probably so.
Jesus as the Word who created all, including us, has given us these gifts to gently and lovingly use.
Jesus literally has created us to heal trauma and pain.
What amazing and wonderful gifts he has given us.
And he has sent Holy Spirit to help us discover, learn about and do these things. Which, with our Helper and Guide, goes so much better, easier and better.
So do as he told us, and as he showed us. Heal pain and trauma in yourself and others with gentle compassion and Holy Spirit.
Do not wait, do not be passive. He tells us today, go: heal the sick and free the bound. With gentle compassion and love, go forth and heal. You do these things.
He has equipped us and given us all we need to do as he says.
Those of you who are Highly Sensitive Persons or who are highly empathic have been especially equipped to heal this way, with your gentle, compassionate and loving attention, first with front of the mind awareness, then with back of the mind awareness which resolves trauma and speeds healing along. These are gifts from our Creator, the Word. Jesus.