What if there were a cancer treatment that also caused cancer?
How about an AIDS cure that, in itself, caused AIDS? Maybe this: what if Tylenol was painful to ingest?
What would you call that?
Irony; you would say that’s ironic.
I have one more for you: what if the best news ever to come down to earth was, to some, the worst, most painful news they’ve heard all day; all year; ever? What if it was because of a failure in presentation?
Lately, I’ve been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders: pressing like an atlas stone, drilling my feet down into the soft earth. Everywhere I look: there’s so, so, so much violence, anger and hate — which consumes, starting with the tiniest black spot. I just can’t shake the feeling; I feel that pain, I hear the cries, all of it and all of them.
Following a brutal election season, half the United State is sad, terrified and hurt; the other half is insensitive, angry and gloating. Globally, existence is in turmoil; children, women, men, perishing in bomb attacks and acts of pure wickedness, either intentional or unintentional. It seems to me that this tiny black spot has now consumed the entire world. Or, perhaps it was always black, and I’ve just been denying it.
I carry my burdens to God: take this atlas stone of other’s pain to the Creator of a love so encompassing, so overarching, so blindingly bright, that even darkness cannot remain dark any longer.
This truth I believe; that God so entirely and completely loved the world that He sent His only son, Jesus, to save humanity from itself.
No matter credence, ethnicity, perspective, any of it: I stand on truth, that God loves all humanity fully: This is the Gospel message; this is the Good News message.
I am of the burning heart tribe: of those who care deeply about humanity; of those who feel the pain of others; of those who deeply pursue humankind’s salvation from itself. Thus, it’s to the God of love I flee in times like these, when that atlas stone feels so heavy, and it’s too people that share in my love of that Love that I turn.
But what do you do when these people also, whom share in that unbiased love, don’t reflect it to others who so desperately need it? What if they keep it to themselves through judgement? Where do you turn when you see others in deep pain because of that non-reflection?
What do you do when you comprehend that, among those in the burning heart tribe, that judgement and bitterness have become greater, more important, than compassion, tenderness and grace?
What if the good news is, to some, a knife straight to the heart? And in the aftermath, where do you direct these wounded, terribly wounded, humans?
I’ll tell you, as Jesus said:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
This, tonight, is my message projected to a darkening world: Do not give up the Hope of grace; do not grow weary in doing good. Do not cease to reflect the love God, or if you have not started already, begin today reflecting that unbiased love. If you do not know this love, ask; knock on the door — you will find it.
Continuously take your burdens directly to the Source; lay down everything, your frustrations, pains and anger; intentionally convene with Him, leader of the burning heart tribe, and take rest in the eternal arms of Almighty Yahweh, who loves you. Who loves YOU; and who always, no matter what, will.
Now, go and share that love with the midnight-dark world. Be a light of God’s unbiased love in the midst of blackness.
If you need prayer, or someone to talk about God with, ask: I will pray for you; am currently praying for you, and everyone else who is seeking after God’s unrequited love.
Andy Christian Castillo is the Founder of Ver・ism(s). He is a military veteran and student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied English. Now, he’s pursuing a graduate degree in creative non fiction from Bay Path University. In his free time, he plays music, writes poetry, gallivants around the world, climbs mountains and runs through the pouring rain.