Feeling · Love · Words

Do unto…

“But if you stop and think about it, what better way could there be for me to actively pursue the God I did not make up—the one I cannot see—than to try for even twelve seconds to love these brothers and sisters whom I can see? What better way to shatter my custom-made divine mosaic than to accept that these fundamentally irritating and sometimes frightening people are also made in the image of God? Honest to goodness, with a gospel like that you could empty a church right out. Yet this, in a nutshell, is the monumental spiritual challenge of living with religious difference—and more centrally than that—of living with anyone who does not happen to be me. “Love God in the person standing right in front of you,” the Jesus of my understanding says, “or forget the whole thing, because if you cannot do that, then you are just going to keep making shit up.” It took my husband, Ed, and me years to make peace with that truth. I keep thinking he likes cities, but that is me, not him. He keeps thinking I like power tools, but that is him, not me. When he is hurt, he likes to be held. When I am hurt, I like to be left alone until the urge to bite someone passes. Now Ed and I operate by our first amendment to the Golden Rule, which is not “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” but “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them (instead of thinking they are just like you).” (Emphasis mine)

Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor, 2018


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