No, I don’t have any actual warts, that I know of anyway, but I am now old enough to have misshapen fingers. My pinky on my right hand has a wholly inexplicable and disturbingly large bulge. I think, much like my poor eyes, my hands are aging at an alarming rate. Oh well. To live is Christ, to die is gain! I so long to meet more people who truly live lives that reflect the Christ-followers’ truth that to die is gain.
Instead the media would have you believe death itself is brand spanking new, a 2020 phenomenon. I try to counter this by constantly reminding people around me that they can’t guarantee another breath. Recently I told a painter, here at my house for an estimate, “You could die on the way back down to your car.” He looked at me, somewhat befuddled and said, “Well, thanks.” It was actually a pretty humorous exchange. But it’s the truth: we need to be ever-ready to meet our Maker.
Another media fallacy is that there are people who have no warts. Here’s a conversation I recently had.
Other person: “I just really don’t like it when he does ‘x’”
Me: “Have you heard the phrase ‘warts and all’?”
Other person: “What?”
Me: “You are called to love him warts and all. No one on this earth is perfect. Every single person will disappoint you. Every person has flaws. You have flaws. Loving someone — loving him — means loving him warts and all.”
Love keeps no record of wrongs. But our culture keeps impeccable records, and it keeps them for decades, even centuries. This gotcha vibe begs the question: What ever happened to grace? Its absence is ruining both societies and relationships. How can there be such ignorance of the self-destruction?
Stop for a second and think about who in your life needs your love and affirmation, warts and all? Is there a single person in your life that’s NOT on that list? Spoiler alert: there’s not.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV
May we be humble, gentle and patient with others this weekend. May we shut off the the fear-mongering, hate-inducing media, and instead make EVERY effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. May we love one another, warts and all.