“Moments like this provoke substantial angst in the hearts of those people in congregations like mine who have enjoyed the music of folks like Grant and Gill, who have counted them as ‘one of us,’ and now have to figure out what to make of this.”
– Bart Barber, quoted in Tyler Huckabee’s article posted by RNS entitled “Leave Amy Grant Alone”
My heart sinks.
I do not know the person quoted above
and I am not making statements on their character.
I am only focusing on that phrase,
one of us.
It is essential to well-being and thriving in our time on earth.
We are not made to be always alone.
Community nurtures us.
Love from other people grounds us.
We can sink roots in another person’s consistent positive regard for us.
It is a need, like thirst and hunger and touch.
We need to belong.
We need to be known.
We need to be loved.
If God is love,
which God is,
then God loves.
If what God made is good,
which God said it was,
then we are good.
Pretty much everybody loves babies.
We hold them and coo over them.
We turn into protective bears when they are at risk.
We adore them.
At what point
is it okay
to change your mind
about that baby?
Is it a certain weight?
Is it a particular height?
When is it okay to push away a child,
a young person,
When does it go from
I will guard you with my life
you don’t belong here?
And a version appropriate for group settings:
If you think a certain way, you can be one of us.
If you don’t, then I gotta rethink you.
Not sure I can still hang with you
if your circle is drawn wider than mine.
God came to us as a baby.
The baby grew up to teach us how to love,
and to show us what love looks like.
We are to love like God loves,
and that is without limits,
without lines drawn in the sand.
If we are trying to be God’s love in this hurting world,
there isn’t a choice to make here.
The answer is love,
and love says all are welcome,
all are beloved,
and “one of us” includes all of us.
Praise God that we don’t have to be God.
We just get to be loved by God
and share that love everywhere we go,
All babies welcome.