Orange . . . the new black?

It’s a good thing I’m a law-abiding citizen.

Well, other than an occasional infraction of our traffic laws, I’m a law-abiding citizen. But my rare (okay, not so rare) speeding ticket is usually the result of absent-mindedness, not defiance. Most people shouldn’t drink and drive. I shouldn’t think and drive.

orange prison outfitMy point is, I wouldn’t make a very good prisoner. First off, orange has never been my favorite color. Peach, yes. Pumpkin, yes. But prisoner-orange?

Washes me out. Orange is so not the new black.

Plus, try as I may, I just don’t have the tough-girl constitution that is required for a prison stay. I can’t even bluff it. I mean, seriously. I cried at Cars. As in, the animated Disney movie.

Finally, although I really like all kinds of food, I’m pretty particular about how I drink my coffee or tea. Something tells me I wouldn’t be offered my sugar-free Sweet Italian Cream coffee creamer and organic stevia in the pokey.

So when Kim Davis went to jail last week for her convictions, I decided once and for all that I should never run for public office. Just in case the government were to ask me to do something that goes against my beliefs . . . like pay full-price for a new pair of shoes, or give up chocolate or something.

I will not discuss whether or not I agree with Kim Davis or I agree with the judge that sent her to jail. I honestly have mixed feelings about the whole thing, and can see both sides of the story. And since most people seem to have their minds made up about the issues surrounding that story, my two cents isn’t likely to sway anyone’s opinion one way or another.

But as I watched Davis’s story play out on the internet, I had to resurrect the popular ‘90’s acronym: WWJD?

What would Jesus do?

Gosh. I really don’t know.

As I thought about that question as it pertains to Kim Davis, homosexual marriage, and religious freedom, it dawned on me. Jesus probably wouldn’t have done anything.

Now, before you get all up in arms and start sending me hate mail or making me a political hero (although if you do one or the other, I’d prefer the latter) hear me out. As far as I can see, Jesus didn’t get involved in the politics of his day.

The Jewish people were under Roman rule. Think about that for a moment. The Roman Empire was one of the cruelest governments in history, and yet Jesus, the Son of God, never led a rebellion against them. In fact, He encouraged his followers to obey civil authority.

What he did do was love people. He sought out sick people and eased their pain. He comforted them. He healed their diseases.

He looked for the broken-hearted and offered compassion and hope.

He found the rejects. The misfits. The cast-offs. And He opened His arms and accepted them, just the way they were.

Look at Zacchaeus, the tax collector. The religious people shunned him, because they thought his kind were all liars and cheats.

Jesus invited Zacchaeus to lunch.

Look at the harlot, caught in the act. The holy, religious people were ready to stone her.

Jesus protected her.

And when Jesus was arrested, he didn’t resist. But let’s remember . . . it wasn’t the Roman government that wanted to arrest Jesus.

It was the religious people. Jesus didn’t play by their rules, so they threw a fit. Such a fit, they wouldn’t stop until Jesus was dead.

The way I see it, the government wasn’t the problem. It was the religious people.

Now, lest you think I’m pointing the finger at anyone else, good grief. Look at me. I end every single one of my columns with a scripture verse. I guess I’m about as religious as they come.

Which is why I feel the need to take our current political . . . can’t even think of a word . . . chaos? Mayhem? Disaster?

Climate. I feel the need to take our current political climate and use it, not to point fingers, but to hold up a mirror.

Am I loving people, or judging them?

Am I accepting people or condemning them?

Am I demanding others bend to my way of thinking, or am I showing them how very special, how very loved, how very valued each person is, in God’s eyes?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t stand up for what we believe in. But the way I see it, God has His job, and I have mine.

God’s job is to judge.

My job is to love.

God is a loving, benevolent judge. He is wise. He sees men’s hearts, and always rules with the perfect combination of justice and mercy. He is a far better judge than I could ever hope to be.

Not only that, but He said if I decide to put on His robe and use His gavel, I’d better remember that when I judge other people, He’ll use my own standards to judge me someday. So I’d better show love and compassion.

So . . . no. I’ll let God keep His job, thank you very much. I’m still learning how to do my job (loving people), and I have a long way to go.

I don’t know what’s coming for our great nation, though like everyone else, I have some ideas. But my hope, my prayer, is that while I live out my beliefs, I will do so with such a reflection of God’s great love for mankind, that people will understand God better. I want there to be such a family resemblance that people will look at me and see my Father. And I hope that love will cause those around me to make the choice—their own choice—to join the family.

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.

9 Responses to Orange . . . the new black?

  1. September 11, 2015 #

    I love what you have written here, Renae! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that your views on this subject are so much like my own. And you have stated them so beautifully. I have to share this with my friends!

    • September 11, 2015 #

      Thanks, Jeneal. 🙂

  2. September 11, 2015 #

    Very well said, Renae. Thank you for sharing. I believe we sometimes make decisions harder than they have to be by forgetting that loving people is what we are called to do.

    • September 11, 2015 #

      Thanks, Lori. 🙂

  3. September 11, 2015 #

    Renae, love how you pointed out how Jesus dealt with the politics of His day. Hadn’t thought of it from that angle. And yes, I’ve got lots to learn yet about loving others, too. Great post!

  4. September 11, 2015 #

    It was a new thought for me too, Cheryl. But if I were working in another country (on a Visa or something), I wouldn’t get involved in that country’s politics. Why would I? It’s not my home. I was reminded as I wrote this article, that as Christians, this is not our home. Our citizenship is in another place, and we’re just passing through.

  5. September 15, 2015 #

    Renae, I am so blessed to call you sister and friend. I read this a few days ago and have had it in the forefront of my thoughts since. I’ve shown it to my Mom and sent it to my pastor. “….and the greatest of these is love…”

  6. September 16, 2015 #

    I am the blessed one, my friend, to have you! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂 Give your mom a hug for me.

  7. September 17, 2015 #

    Renae, I’ve been thinking, as you have, that Jesus didn’t get involved in politics. I agree with what you’ve said here, and you’ve said it so well.

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