FAITH. HOPE. LOVE.
By Rev. Dr. Brian Gigee
Many years ago, the human rights activist Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” I know this seems difficult to many and yet it is so true and always worth striving for… not giving up that is… to actually not give up on each other! Think about it… humanity is like a bowl of chili! It’s not just one thing. Which part do you like best? The meat? The beans? The peppers? The sauce? The seasonings? Mild? Spicy? Five XXXXX smokin’ hot? So, one ingredient of another doesn’t make the chili bad, it just makes it different! And when we head out to the four corners of the planet, we find lots of human ingredients! Just what might the world be like if everything and everyone was the same? Thus, “difference” requires understanding and when push comes to shove, we are all in the same pot of chili after all.
Is it easy to get along with each other? Not always. The St. Paul of Tarsus I read about in my Bible knew that relationships were not always simple. He wrote a lot of letters to a lot of people it seems, and he normally began those letters with a greeting… one like this… “Grace and peace and mercy to you in the name of Jesus…” I think he meant it this way… that each person reading his letter would sense the grace of God, an undeserved gift, in their lives and if they didn’t notice any grace, then he desired some peace in the midst of their strife and if people couldn’t recognize any grace or peace nearby then all he could offer up was some mercy … at least that’s one way to look at it.
But what St. Paul was noted for mostly is that his life changed via an encounter with the living Jesus. As a man named Saul, he helped round up Christians for their execution. Then, he became one of them. He was blinded and through grace and peace and mercy his sight was restored, and he looked at everyone differently as a result!
In his first letter to his new-found friends in Corinth (known to church folks at 1st Corinthians) at the end of the twelfth and then the thirteenth chapters he writes of “a more excellent way” and specifically when it comes to loving those around us saying that we all need faith, we all need hope and we all need love. Humanity won’t endure without them.
So, I can ask then… is your faith one that is inclusive or exclusive? Is your faith bigger than you? Do you hope for the best in others? And is it OK when others do better or different than you? When it comes to love, does your love have borders? Love for some, but not for others?
Our world requires some faith and hope and love these days. Our actions are the reflections of the things we believe deep down inside our hearts and minds. Work on you and I’ll work on me as our faith matters and when it comes to matters of faith… everyone believes in something.
Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches in Texas and Louisiana over the last four decades. Follow his blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/. Your comments and/or questions are always welcomed to [email protected].