What a crazy idea. Right?
In my Christian upbringing, I remember hearing the words "grace" and "love" applied to God and those who identified as Christians, but the majority of what I saw lived out was shame and blame and guilt-tripping. If you were looking down on others it meant you were higher up by default. Just like God...right? Except the Bible makes it very clear that's not how God rolls. Like, at all.
This one part of a letter in the Bible called Philippians says:
Belonging... tender and compassionate hearts... take interest... equality... humble...
Something I find interesting about these words is that I think we can practice all of these things and have really terrible motives. I think Paul is saying in this letter that, for this to work, these "forces" that lead to unity have to come from our deepest place - that place that is in fellowship with the Spirit of the Divine. This is the only place from which authentic grace and Love can come. I think Paul is saying (at least in part) that the unity that comes from Love comes from God and we always have access to it, but we would often rather believe that we don't.
I would bet the farm this means that looking down on others isn't very unifying. In this letter Paul clearly paints a word picture of something that ACTUALLY happened (and I can only say this using human terms, so forgive me): Christ moved toward us. The only way Christ could have stayed in his state of Divine privilege and not made this cosmic, epic, game-changing move toward humans (who desperately needed unity, love and peace) would have been to break off from His very nature, to break off from HIMSELF. Which I think is actually impossible.
I wish this were impossible for us humans, too.
I wish it were impossible for me to not move toward other human beings, no matter what. I wish it were as impossible for me to live my life detached from the disenfranchised as it is for me to live without oxygen.
I'm not calling myself (or you) a cold-hearted person; I'm saying that I happen to have a lot of privilege that I didn't do anything to gain, that I was born into. And privilege by its very nature is not disruptive. It's comfortable.
Comfort doesn't get our attention. Disruption gets our attention.
I want to be disrupted into living a life guided by Grace (no-matter-whatness) and Love (I'm-with-you). I want to live a life that embodies I'm-with-you-no-matter-whatness.
So, how about you? What terrifies you about this possibility? How might we defy any of the constructs of privilege and comfort that we get to enjoy in our lives to find more unity? To find a life guided by Grace and Love?
And what would happen if we did?