commonality does not make it sinless

You know, it is Holy Thursday, and in this week I have been meditating on this cost of sin, my sin. It is sneaky and insidious. Long since laid aside, a temptation can be lurking in a glance, a smell, a whisper, a suspicion. I do not have to play with temptation. I can drive the other way, flee. I can seek help, but with "help," it is important to know that there is Truth in that help.

I was flipping thru the channels tonight looking for background noise to fall asleep by when I paused on this show, not for how interesting or pretty, but because it was weird. These women are attracted to, describe themselves as being in love with, structures of wood, steel, glass...like buildings. Sure, there is the phallic connection which makes some sense, but the one woman who was practically licking the Empire State Building was just "out there," vacant, lost. Then it occurs to me: just because people share my perversions, be they sexual or simply idolatrous heart affairs with money or flattery or my own independence, it does not make them any less a perversion, does not make them any less a sin.

Today we have support groups and communities for everything, every disorder, one could dream up. In finding others like us, we feel less like outsiders, more "normal." Unfortunately, what we also find is people who wander in the same lost-ness and who will tell us what we want to hear because they want to hear it, too. We want so much not to be lost, not to be following some insane idea, not to be wrong. Finding others like us doesn't make us right, just same.

But, you whine, shouldn't everyone have someone? Shouldn't we all just get along? Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was happy and whole? Sure, but this world is a mess. We are a mess. How can a mess cause right-ness? How does dis-order create order? It doesn't. We need an answer outside of our twisted, distorted perspectives. I need an answer outside of MY twisted, distorted perspectives. My insanity never bred sanity.

For me, the process was long and slow and painful, and I wouldn't trade it, wouldn't trade the life I have today, the joy I have today. But, just because I stopped being my answer to my problems most of the time, does not mean that I have stopped it altogether. I still get in God's way. I still screw up. I still out curse the sailor sometimes. I still rebel against authority. I wish I were "good," but I am not sure that is the purpose of all this anyway.

Coming to the end of my rope showed me how pathetic my attempts were and removed all the obstacles that prevented me from seeking out God. Getting to know God gives me another way to live, His way. I don't expect to never be hurt again, to become healthy/wealthy/wise, to be perfect. I don't expect that if I am the "good" that religion teaches we "should" be that God will love me more or that everything will be golden. None of that does anything for me. What I do believe is that I am not alone, that God wants me to follow His leading, to learn from Him, to lean on Him. He knows that I will wander off, as all His people have done for many, many, many generations. He loves me and calls me anyway.

Odd thing happens too, the more I hang out with God, the more I want to hang out with Him, the more my heart softens and breaks, the more I love, the less I need to hurt others, the more conscious I am when I do, the less I want to do it "my way," the more I want to know His way, and the less like everyone else I am. That is peculiar, huh? I am less alone, but I am also less alike. I am more unique, more creative, more spirited, more inspired, more adventurous. I can be in a crowd of people, "my" people, and cherish the individuality of each. I don't need to find same-ness anymore. Thank God!

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