Befriending The Banished

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“I used to think that to be Christlike meant to be alienated and put off by the sin of others. But it’s quite the opposite. Refusing to be alienated and put of by the sin of others is what allows me to be Christlike.” Brant Hansen

“If you owned a Rembrandt covered in mud, you wouldn’t focus on the mud or treat it like mud. Your primary concern would not be the mud at all, though it would need to be removed. You’d be ecstatic to have something so valuable in your care. But if you tried to clean the painting by yourself, you might damage it. So you would careful bring this work of art to a master who could guide you and help you restore it to the condition originally intended. When people begin treating one another as God’s masterpiece waiting to be revealed, God’s grace grows in their lives and cleanses them… Do you see the mud or the masterpiece?” John Burke

We can’t very well reach Rahabs if we villainize them and let our revulsion for their lifestyle trump our compassion for them as fellow beloveds. Some “Christians” are quick to pull out their morality pistols and start firing away, but it’s up to us to show more instinctual empathy than moral aversion for the least, the last, and the lost among us. We can’t act like people disgust us and say that we love them at the same time. I’ve heard it said, “If we succeed in loving we succeed big; if we fail to love we fail completely.”

– Originally published in Reaching Rahab: Joining God In His Quest For Friends

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