That Jerk….Beloved

The following post was written by Kevin Harris. Kevin

serves as the Administrative Assistant and Director of

Community Relations at The Marin Foundation.


‘They’ does not exist

A constructed ‘other’ to rally the troops

And God knows it works

Every movement needs a devil

Someone to project my own demons onto

Someone to blame

Lest I have to deal with the disorders in my own soul

See in myself what I hate in you

And realize that but by the grace of God

I am capable of every evil


If only I can turn you into one of ‘them’

Dehumanize you

Not the Imago Dei

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Broken, yet still a brother or sister

But the sum of your beliefs

A disembodied caricature


The problem

And grace is not reserved for ‘a problem’

But people like ‘us’

Then I can beat you

Even destroy you

Feeling justified in doing so


But when ‘they’ become real

An enemy nevertheless

Capable of evil

Yet still a child of God

A wounded person loved

And created for relationship with God

When I realize, as Desmond Tutu states

‘We are a part of a greater whole

That I am diminished when I diminish others

And my humanity is dependent upon the recognition of their humanity’

Then I am reminded of my mandate

To love


Not to brush aside actions

But to love and forgive

Regardless of whether justice prevails


I know

It sounds trite

And it is a bit cliché

Until someone hurts you

Betrays you

Comes after you and those you care about

Until the pain inside you turns into anger

Not that Jesus flipping tables over anger

But that anger that wants to see you hurt

To feel a fraction of the pain you have caused

That gives you a cold silent stare

Hoping it would sweep over you

Uttering contempt

Aiming for a vulnerable place

Reveling in your pain and misfortune



Until it hits you

Like a load of bricks falling on your chest

‘Do not let the sun go down on your anger’

They are a beloved child of God

Yes….that asshole


You never thought redemption was painful

Until it slaps you in the face

Setting you free and simultaneously humbling you


Not because of you

But the One who is good

And you see that image in ‘them’

Only a reflection as in a mirror

Broken yet beautiful

Inflicting violence from incompleteness meant to be redeemed

And you’re reminded of the painful side of love

The violence of love

Love that requires forgiveness when your heart cries out for revenge

That subverts the entitled notions of the false self laying claim to justified hatred


Not the Jesus I invited into my heart to save me…..again & again & again

Like some cosmic belief-based ticket to cash in for eternal glory

But the Jesus that showed me ‘their’ worth and humanity

And called me to love when I do not want to love

Because he first loved (all of) us

The Jesus that died to bring peace to the enemies of God

Turning ‘us’ and ‘them’ into brothers and sisters

Deconstructing group boundaries

The Jesus that called me to come and die as well

Reminding me that suffering is at the heart of the cross

The way of God

And the way to God

Not to only be venerated but emulated

Then the cliché becomes real


Much love.

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