i talked to my sister last week, and as usual, she was cooking dinner, and changing a diaper and whispering so she didnt interrupt a long-awaited nap. usually it goes something like this: "oh hey grace, whats up? we havent talked in awh-hold on a sec okay? timmy just woke up from his nap...oh okay now i'm back...sorry, im trying to plan a barbeque..we are having friends for dinner..oh wait, now we are having twelve people for dinner...how'd that happen..." i love it. know why? cause with every runny nose she grabs a kleenex for, for every blankie she rescues off the floor, for every person she invites to her home...she is giving. she is probably the most hospitable person i know. her door is always open. her table never too full. not only that, my sister loves the unlovable and lovable alike. she loves her neighbors kids, who are hurting and alone, and who need a place to feel safe. she loves her home group, and has stood by her girlfriends as they have miscarried babies and sent husbands to iraq. she loves anyone who walks through her door.
rob bell says that "in philippians, it says look to the interest of others. subtle in nuance. others. its not look to the interests of those, its not look to those who are in your demographic. its not look to the interests of people we hang with, and its kinda fun to serve them. its others.
its all sorts of people. and essentially, the flow of the argument is, the one soul, one mind..you will encounter this when you serve others. if God is a trinity where one unit is a whole then you, my friends, need to be a whole. mimic this by orienting yourself around others. what paul is getting at (in phillipians), is the others are the strange, the different, the unintelligable. and some of you are thinking "oh yeah..strange...they have a name! three cubicles down!". but paul is saying is do you want to understand Gods love? Gods grace? do you want to truly understand what it means for God to envelop you with his grace, peace, forgiveness, truth and light? then orient yourself around the strange, the unintelligable, the coworker, the relative...circle around them. and in your frustration of trying to serve them well, you will see the meaning of what it means for God to love you in all your strangeness. the person who MOST gets under your skin..they may be the garment of Gods grace that is coming to you to bring you more fully into the love of God. if i could learn to take one step towards that, it will be a step into understanding what it means to be loved by God. if i could learn, maybe i would come to understand the God who loves me in spite of my flaws."
i want to open up my home. to open my heart.
to the unlovable.
to the strange.
to the unintelligable.
to the others.