It's the end of 2015, so I have been reflecting on the year and the word God gave me as the theme. The focus of the year was "Kingdom" which I've blogged about some. Such a huge word...everything Jesus embodied, released and invited us into. It dawned on me the other day that, though I've sought out and learned other wonderful aspects of the word, the year really focused on a particular aspect of "Kingdom"...one that I will never forget.
When I look back at 2015, I am reminded of countless sorrows. People who experienced suffering indirectly (as a result of someone else's choices) or directly (as a result of their own choices) or both (most usually)...and when others cowardly took their leave (people who engage in rejection have fallen far short of their calling in my book...yep, ridiculous...sorry), "Kingdom" calls people to rush in.
Because Jesus would...and did...and does. And as people of "Kingdom", we should too.
Our culture as a whole (and yes, pervading the church as well...though we hate to admit it) has so diluted or completely forgotten the value of a human life. We pick and choose where we want people to matter...basing it on typically trivial, "lesser" points of value. It is disgusting. Sigh. But, truly, each and every soul has a beauty and a destiny regardless of success or failure, and not one of us is exempt from those moments of struggle. We need to be so sold out to the belief that "we are more" that we will choose to be there every single time someone falls...and to celebrate the victories that come after.
We show up with love instead of hate. We choose to view people through the lens of hope instead of the lens of shame. We certainly bring accountability when it's appropriate, but we offer it from a place of wisdom and care...not fear and control. Grace, grace, grace...that compassionate beckoning forward regardless of consequences...and regardless of the opinions of naysayers.
Being restorative people calls us up into a higher way of living...challenging for sure as it can be a discipline more than a delight sometimes. It develops the "Kingdom-person" too...creating further release into a more genuine humanity as we refuse to let go of the hope that we ALL are more than our mistakes...that there is ALWAYS hope for a new day. We are formed more deeply as we stand for the transformation of another.
"Kingdom" believes in the best, fights for it, defends it... What a gift it is...restoration...right from God's heart to the people around us.