In high school through the beginning of college, I would tell racist jokes, make homophobic comments, and interact as a superior being with those from another religion and/or culture. I would make the people around me laugh all while ignoring the pain, hurt, fear, and hate I was perpetuating for those who did not look like, think like, or believe like I did. Then, something happened—
I lost friends, was mocked, and people tried (and still do, actually) to discredit my faith all because I made a conscious decision to intentionally acknowledge the image of God that dwells within all.
I have learned (and am still learning) that even though I often fail to see the beauty and worth in people, God never does. I pray for forgiveness for the times I have failed in doing this and for guidance in how I can better live like Christ in a world (and dare I say Church) that appears to let hate and fear dictate our thoughts and actions.
Rev. Jennifer Hayes is a decent wife, goofy mom and a loud associate pastor in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.