Comment on This: Lines in the Sand

“I used to think religion tasted horrible, but now I know I was just eating the fake stuff” – Bob Goff

 

Remember that scene in ‘Hook’ where Rufio gets all worked up and decides to draw a line in the sand? At the risk of losing his status as leader of the ‘Lost Boys’ (an honorable distinction), he tells everyone who’s with him to come stand on his side of the line. Then he says that anyone who wants to believe that the old man in trousers and a button-down is in fact Peter Pan, should stand opposite of him on the other side of the line.  Because that’s the way you settle things in Neverland, with a giant line in the sand.

Remember when Jesus drew in the sand? Obviously you weren’t there, but surely you’ve heard about it. A whole crowd of people were clutching rocks, hoping to show a ‘sinner’ in a bed sheet just how screwed up she was. They were hoping to take a stand against sin, to not back down from the beliefs they held so dear. But then there was Jesus. He knelt down and started drawing in the sand. He wasn’t interested in lecturing her about what she’d done, He was interested in accepting her, in loving her. The stones fell as she walked free.

Sometimes I wonder why we’re so interested in drawing lines in the sand. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe God has drawn some lines. There is a right and a wrong, and as Creator he has that prerogative. There are some loving boundaries that he has put around us all to keep us safe. All I’m saying is we should probably leave the drawing to Him.

If He accepts us before we’ve got it all figured out, which *spoiler alert* is never, then the measure of our understanding of who Jesus was should be our ability to do the same. I can love you without agreeing with you – my wife does that for me on a daily basis. But sometimes we take it to another level. We draw lines, like some glorified leader of the ‘Lost Boys’, and say, “You’re good if you are on my side of the line, and bad if you are on the other.” And I think we draw these lines to feel better about ourselves. If we can pick out the things we don’t agree with on the other side of the line, it makes the sand feel a little softer under our own feet. But here’s the thing – we suck at it. You see, when we draw lines in the sand, people tend to feel excluded and unwanted. But when Jesus drew lines in the sand, people felt included and loved. Stones fell and people walked free. Perhaps we’re drawing the wrong kinds of lines.

As much as many Christians want to believe this, Jesus didn’t come here to separate the holy from the unholy. He didn’t come to draw a line in the sand. He knew that all of us had all already stepped over the line. Instead, His life and death drew a giant circle around all of us. Believe it or not, we’re all “lost boys”. We’re all in the same boat. We’re all sinners in need of grace that happens to be free. And I think perhaps an appropriate response to such grace is maybe to stop drawing our own lines. When we hold more tightly to our personal beliefs and opinions being ‘right’ than we do to the character of Christ, we’re missing the point and everyone loses. He didn’t call us to tell people they’re wrong. We’re all wrong. He didn’t call us so much to look down to see where someone stands, he called us to look up into each other’s eyes with love, no matter where someone stands. So maybe drawing lines isn’t the best way to settle things. This isn’t Neverland, after all. Maybe it’s time we started drawing circles instead.

I’m certainly not saying that respectfully expressing personal beliefs is hateful, intolerant, or drawing a line in the sand. But our reactions have the potential to be all three and more. So why do we (as a society) have such a bad taste in our mouth? Maybe it’s time we take a closer look at the stuff we’re consuming, and I’m not talking about chicken. What do you think?

 

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7 Comments on “Comment on This: Lines in the Sand”

  1. Chris
    August 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    This is a great post Drew best one so far!! Couldn’t agree more!!

  2. Patrice
    August 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    This is just what I’ve been thinking. Screaming our support for an institution from the rooftops while ingnoring the human lives it potentially devalues doesn’t feel right to me at all. ‘Drawing circles…’ I like it.

  3. Anonymous
    August 1, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Wow! What a thought provoking question! Thanks for the thought.

  4. August 2, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    Couldn’t agree more. So well written!

  5. August 2, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Thanks for reading!

  6. Bob Mitchell
    August 4, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Very nice. I definitely was one who had to be “right”!

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  1. #20 Comment On This: Lines In The Sand | thethingaboutflying - December 22, 2012

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