Today my friend, Lisa, posted a quote on Facebook. It was from the book Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller:
“I think every conscious person, every person who is awake to the functioning principles within his reality, has a moment where he stops blaming the problems in the world on group think, on humanity and authority, and starts to face himself. I hate this more than anything. This is the hardest principle within Christian spirituality for me to deal with. The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest.”
It was good for me to read. I have been quite vocal on Facebook and Twitter and this blog about my disdain for the man residing in the White House right now. When I’m reminded of my own responsibility in the matter (that ‘needy beast of a thing’ inside me) it’s good. It’s good to be reminded. I am not without sin, so I shouldn’t throw stones. (John 8:1-11)
I wrote this response to Lisa on Facebook:
Wow, that is a powerful quote, Lisa. It’s good for me to remember. I’ve been complaining a lot about the past election. It, and the months following, have been a mirror for our country to see what we have become.
However, as Donald Miller reminds us, real change is when each of us deals with “the needy beast of a thing” within ourselves.
It’s the reason I won’t ever leave Jesus, even when people were walking away from Jesus’ tough words in John 6. He asked his disciples if they wanted to leave too. Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
Precisely! To whom shall I go? except to this one who not only convicts me of sin, but saves me from it. I’m the bigot, the fearful, the arrogant, the rich person trying to squeeze into the needle’s eye, the one who shouts at students and the one who ignores the needy. And that was just today.
I am a sinner through and through, and that should not be forgotten as I resist this president.
Since that comment, I have thought more about that inner beast. God save me if I had to start recapping all the crap that has shaped who I am over the past five decades. I’m ashamed of what I was, and I’m thankful to God for helping me to be better.
I have hope. Hope in God. Hope that people on both sides can face their demons. Hope in the Constitution. Hope.
I’ll try to throw more stones like hope.
God help me.