Monday, January 27, 2020

Guest Post: The Beauty In Between

After reading this piece written by her friend, the Little One turned to me with awe in her voice and said, "Mummy, you've got to read this!" I read it and immediately reached out to this young writer to get her permission to share her thought-provoking work. BTW the Little One is not so little anymore; she'll be 17 in March.
Meranie McGuire is just a young woman trying to live her life Coram Deo. Through her writings, she conveys the lessons God has taught her through prayer and the study of His Word. She currently attends the University of Southern California as she pursues her B.S. in Business Administration with a Minor in Religion. Meranie is young but has a deep understanding of the reality of God. There are no age limits when you're used by God. Paul noted of Timothy that "You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15 NLT)." The same can be said of this writer. Read on.



You see, there does exist a gray area. I know a lot of times life is presented as black and white. Red and blue. This or that. But there does exist an in-between. And often, that is where the beauty of something is found. Beauty is found amongst contrast. Amongst comparison. Amongst compromise. It’s about a little of both sides. Imagine a life with no pain. How could you appreciate bliss? Or a life with no bliss? How could you identify pain? I’ve written before on humanity’s habit of oversimplifying things. We don’t want to understand fully, or we feel like we don’t need to, so we sum up. Abstraction has become our vice. And it makes sense. Complexity takes time. Patience. An open mind. Complexity is expensive, and we either can’t afford it or refuse to indulge.

So many years ago, we began to cut corners, and today we have lost so much of what things really are, or at least what they were intended to be. From ethnicity has sprung race. From personal beliefs, interest groups. Christianity, the original anti-religion, has become a religion itself. And it’s radical leader, Jesus, its mascot. Things have strayed so far from their intention, that being a proponent of life insinuates closed-mindedness and a lack of compassion. Ironically, it does not imply a thirst for justice, aiding those impoverished or in need. Likewise, to declare the victory of love does not insinuate the victory of God. As if God is not love. As if the justice system of a human government could ever mirror that of God, and as if humans could ever declare the will of God, then use it to validate the abuse of children of God. The world has become so abstract, that somehow, sects “of Christ” have wandered so far from Him that individual members do not know what Christ actually said. Or did. Or stood for. 

So abstract that many associate God with a single country, and not the one to which He originally belonged. No, somehow, the Jewish God, graciously given to Gentiles, has become a deity of a polytheistic people. A people who also worship a man-made flag, man-made economic system, and a man-made set of liberties. And like everything else they hail to be sovereign and true, their version of God is equally man-made. Their version of God is in constant agreement with them. As their pendulum of human morality swings, their version of God changes accordingly. It is, therefore, no wonder Christianity has been associated with a conservative view of the government. Because their God agrees with them, and therefore cannot possibly agree with you.

But there exists an in-between. Yes, God values the life of the unborn child, but He values just as much the mother in need of grace. Yes, God hates the feet that sprint towards wrongdoing, but He hates just as much the haughty eyes that look down upon others in pride. Yes, God honors the marital bond between man and woman, but God honors just as much the validity of the life of a (fill in the blank) sexual, non-binary human being. Because regardless of what a person identifies as, what pronouns they prefer, or who they love, at their root, they are human beings. And they deserve to be treated as such. Yes, there is a clear delineation between right and wrong, but God calls us to love our neighbors regardless. There are no strings attached, and Jesus (here comes that guy again) exemplified that.

Never did Jesus scare a non-believer into a confession. So why would scaring people work now? Never did Jesus guilt people into following Him. So why would shaming people work now? Jesus approached every non-believer with love and grace. The only perfect man on earth, He refrained from judging the lost and offered them guidance instead. And if they wanted to leave? Jesus let them go. Jesus understood the beauty in between. Because following God is not about receiving salvation, then doing what you want, ignoring everything God ever commanded, or at least that which is inconvenient to you. Nor is it about living your life to the letter of the law while neglecting the importance of a healthy relationship with God. Following God is about choosing to follow God’s commands as a result of your relationship or your love for Him. Choosing to let the love of God dictate your actions. Choosing to follow His will over your own. And choosing to tell others about it in the process.

Now it’s essential to understand that by the beauty in-between, I do not mean to say that God stands to please everyone. God doesn’t stand to please anyone. I only mean to say that the closest thing we humans can come to understand as God and His Logos (a mere fraction of His reality) is found between what is accepted as the two sides of the proverbial coin. This, I believe, is because humanity, at its root, is made in God’s image. Therefore, on both sides, one can find hints of God, though, in their entirety, both sides have been tainted by ever-changing human will, philosophy, and morality.

So what should be done with this analysis? I think all that one can do is recognize the lack of godly reasoning in human reasoning. Accept that neither extreme is “correct,” but instead, the closest thing to God’s Logos on earth can be found right in the middle. I think to know that you do not know is the first step to knowledge, and I believe that is “the beauty between.” Trust God. He has all the answers for the in-between.

Have you ever noticed the beauty in between? Won't you encourage this young writer by leaving a comment?

--Nylse

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10 comments:

  1. This is absolutely brilliant! Meranie is clearly wise beyond her years and she speaks of a religion and a God that I can actually be on board with. The beauty truly is in the between and we are so trained to see everything as black and white that we all too often miss the real stuff, the important stuff, the unconditional, untainted ways of a Godlike love. I have always lived with the understanding that God is love and that is all we really need to know. If we apply that kind of love to the world at large, if everyone went out into the world with that kind of love, what a different, and more beautiful world this would be. Thanks so much for sharing this post at my link party and thank you for giving this brilliant young woman a platform to share her incredible philosophy and beautiful words.

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  2. Keep speaking up, Meranie! This is wise stuff. It's also bonding stuff. We need to be unified again in our country instead of everyone in their corners with arms ready to fight. God is so much in the beauty between; we don't need to walk away from the between but get right back in their ourselves. Jesus did. And through us, he can again. May we learn to love like he did.

    Thanks for sharing Meranie with us, Nylse!

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  3. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!
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  4. Thank you, Meranie, for the treasure of this wisdom. Black and white thinking is one of the scariest parts of church life for me, and it seems as if we need the young and the brave to lead us on this.

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  5. What a find! A very talented and astute girl with a message to share. I hope she keeps sharing! laurensparks.net

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  6. Thanks for these words. Life is not so easy to pin down. And there is beauty there. But also fear. So I think this is where so much of this rigid thinking comes from.

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  7. What a beautiful reminder to love people just where they are

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  9. Thank you for sharing this post at the #trafficjamweekend

    Have a blessed week.

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