Human Beings


Can we all agree that Jennifer Lawrence is a human being? Surely we all recognize that Steven Sotloff was a son, a friend and – now in death – still a beloved child of God.

Why would we denigrate these human beings by downloading hacked personal photographs or watching video of someone’s execution? What is the matter with us?

It’s surprisingly difficult to remember that even our enemies are human beings, created in the image of God. I often find myself in meetings reminding Church People that:

  • This” (slander, ugliness) “is not the way Christians talk to each other.
  • Followers of Jesus do not gossip about each other in church parking lots.
  • People who’ve experienced God’s grace convey that grace upon others.

I observe pastors treating parishioners with open disdain. I observe parishioners openly shredding their pastor’s personalities, leadership, and very existence.

Again, what is wrong with us?

In terms of becoming a 21st Century Church, it’s easier for us Church People to speak snarkily of each other than it is to make the difficult shifts required for faithful ministry. It’s hard work to become a new church for a new day.

Repeat after me: In life and in death, we belong to God. Whether we believe in God or not. Whether we deserve it or not. (I believe we actually don’t.) Jennifer Lawrence. Steven Sotloff. The pastor you disagree with. The elder who makes you crazy. The church official who seems so out of touch. You. Me. We are human beings who deserve respect – if for no other reason than the fact that God created us holy.

Image of Steven Sotloff whom we mourn today.

2 responses to “Human Beings

  1. I feel this post, Jan, and my heartfelt prayers go out to you and all who work to remind us of the Way. What is wrong with us? Sigh. We’re human beings. We can be holy, and gracious, and creative, and life-giving. But we can also be petty, shallow, selfish, and monstrous. That terrible, wonderful freedom is the nature of how we were wrought.


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