I started this blog to find ways for us to be more like Jesus. I chose the name Jesus Not Jesús believing if we could approach all people as sacred and holy beings - like we might with someone holy and sacred like Jesus- then maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to judge, harm, shame, cheat, or kill those strangers in our midst.
I’ve never been an immigrant. But I do know what it’s like living in a place where people make sure you know you’re not wanted there. One such place was a church. Imagine what our communities could gain if we approached every Jesús or Maria or Muhammad as if we were standing before the Divine. After all, we are all made in the same image of the Divine.
Henri Nouwen wrote a lot on the subject of compassion, towards others and ourselves. Today I read this from his book You Are The Beloved that got me thinking about the simple acts of kindness we can show towards one another like Jesus taught through his words and deeds.
Nouwen wrote, “And so we ignore our greatest gift, which is our ability to enter into solidarity with those who suffer. . . Those who can sit with their fellow man, not knowing what to say but knowing that they should be there, can bring new life into a dying heart. Those who are not afraid to hold a hand in gratitude, to shed tears of grief, and to let a sigh of distress arise straight from the heart can break through paralyzing boundaries and witness the birth of a new fellowship, the fellowship of the broken.”
It’s in the way we meet one another in their pain, suffering, hardships, and need that we do the greatest miracles - healing others and ourselves. It’s in the space between me and the other that the Divine is seen and felt, fully alive, both divine and human.
Compassion is not easy work. It’s a lifelong journey that takes daily practice. But this is how we are called to be in this world fully present and fully alive. This is how peace spreads across borders, love through families and communities, and hope throughout all eternity. It simply begins by looking at another human and seeing the image the divine within them. And doing so may you also see that image reflecting in you.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”