United Humans

It feels like years since I’ve posted anything. Sorry about the absence. Life has been too busy for much extracurricular axtivity, but I hope this makes up for it.

We get into disagreements with people we look up to and admire. We get hurt by them. Parents let us down from time to time, or they ultimately let us down. Siblings hurt our feelings. Managers or supervisors can be nasty. Friends can disappoint. In turn, we get wounded by their actions. And wounds breed bitterness that can carry into our relationships, or get internalized into self-destruction.

All the mean and nasty junk that we see or that gets done to us is from the enemy. God deserves no credit when evil happens, but we blame Him all the time. We shake our fist to the heavens and say, “Why did you let that happen?!” But if you’ve walked with Jesus for very long, you know truth is found in him. And the truth is, all that nasty stuff is beautiful.

I love United Pursuit. Like… Love them. A lot. I loved them when I was in Kentucky. (Did I mention I’m back in Knoxville? I’m back in Knoxville.) So when I moved down here the first time, I thought it was mesmerizing just to live in the same place they did.

My church has a smaller sister church in downtown Knoxville near Market Square. I always wanted to go, but never got to because of other plans. So Sunday, at the last second, I got invited when I had no other plans. When I walked in and saw the stage, I thought it looked very familiar. The unique little light bulbs standing bare on their poles, the piano with no back to it so you could see the strings as they struck their chords, and the cool Fender steel back that I would kill to have five minutes with… I didn’t know why it looked so familiar. I’d never been there before. Then it dawned on me:  United Pursuit filmed countless music videos on that stage.

It wasn’t even a stage. It was a setup on a concrete floor in a bare and dim room. United Pursuit should be playing in some extravagant cathedral, right? No, I’m wrong. No way they play here. So I ask a guy, very sheepishly, “Um… This is going to sound insane. But by chance, had United Pursuit ever played here?”

The guy laughed. “Yeah. They’re here every Tuesday night playing Love Wars.”

I died.

I was starstruck just being in the same room where they had played and filmed. That’s a big deal. I got invited back on Tuesday night, but I honestly don’t know if I could handle it. They’d have to mop up my drool if I went.

The guy went onto say, “You don’t have to be starstruck. They’re as human as human gets.”

I don’t know if I’ll be there tonight. But what an awesome concept, that the people we idolize and love and admire might eat, sleep, pass gas and make mistakes like the rest of us. We need Jesus because we are human, and live like humans; selfish and evil by nature. It’s the ultimate uniting factor in life.

The problem with putting people on pedestals is that the higher we put them, the worse it’s gonna hurt when they topple over onto us. We can put Jesus on a pedestal all day long, because we first put him on a cross. And he will never fall down. Our humanity is what brings royalty down and the homeless beggars up. It puts us on the same playing field.

So, forgive where it is needed, and love always. Be gentle in all you do. Because we are all the same and beautifully united by the simple fact:  We are human.

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