Listening to some Jon Foreman on my train ride home this evening had me rethinking what some lyrics in his song mean... I thought they meant one thing but really, I think it means two. Which means, they're probably very good lyrics, I guess. It goes like this:
And both of our hands
Are equally skilled
At doing evil, equally skilled
At bribing the judges
At perverting justice
Both of our hands
Both of our hands? My own hands, right? We've all got two of them. Two hands to do evil, and, it is implied, two hands to do good, I suppose. What I realized tonight is that, maybe, both of our hands might actually mean, all of our hands. A two brothers kind of hands, or friend or foe both of our hands, mother and child, both of our hands. While we are all personally equally skilled at doing evil, it is true also that, no matter who you are, you are capable of much evil. Much perversion. Much wrong. This dawned on me a week or two ago when I was talking with a few people about people from different socioeconomic classes, races, location, and whatnot come together. In a room. A a dinner table, let's say. Who's better? Who's more OK? Who's acceptable? Duh, we all are. We're all equal, at least, in a good and right kind of house you are. Actually believing this, and then acting upon it, is really just difficult. We all want to hate someone.
Don't believe me? You're lying. I would be completely lying if I said I didn't really, really dislike some people. There are just some folks that get under my skin. Honestly, I don't tend to naturally like most people. From what you've read, that doesn't seem to ring true. But it is true, in my heart of hearts, I want to turn up my ugly, little nose and be snooty and judgey and a bit of a jerk. Thankfully, whether I want to like someone or not, God gives me love that I don't have, and that turns into like. It really does. Strange how that works. If you just let him help you love people, eventually you'll just start liking people too.
I hardly need to list examples of people groups of all forms that we like to hate. You can probably think of yours quicker than you can stop yourself from naming names and seeing faces. Someone is wrong, aren't they? Someone is worse than me.... in fact, someone is the worst. Worse at perverting justice, more skilled at doing wrong. Here's the thing: No. No, I don't think so. Actually, I know so. I know no one is worthy, or good enough or right. Which, then, makes everyone equally...worthless. We all start in the same place. Last. And you can't go anywhere lower, OK?
But we were created by a Maker who is setting things right, who makes us all worthy. Who puts us first. (and then tells us the last shall be first!) You see, when we come to the table, we don't bring ourselves. He carries us there. He carries us all to the table. He sets us there and says, eat, child. Who is worthy to be at that table? Who has done no wrong? No one. Once we can all raise both of our hands and say, I couldn't have gotten myself here if I tried, then I think we could start to see each other. See each other like God really sees us. Love each other like He really loves us. Both of our hands, all of our hands.
I saw heaven tonight, with a little girl dancing whose father has adopted her in love, with a homeless man playing his heart out on a keyboard, with a pastor laughing with joy at it all, and another in a santa suit holding children who wouldn't ever get to a mall to see him. Goodness, kindness and love can abound. I believe it because I've seen it, and I'll do anything I can to love like I've been loved.