Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you.                    There is no longer Jew or Greek,          there is no longer slave or free,          there is no longer male and female;          for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.                   —Galatians 4.28

It is so hard to avoid categorizing, judging, labeling. I do so in anxiety about my own judgment. I want to be “the way I’m supposed to be.” I want to be “good enough.” So in fear I distinguish and judge. I hate in others what I fear in myself. I find others offensive so that I can feel acceptable. Without realizing I’m doing it I define “normal.”

I participate in systems — Legion — that distinguish, judge, define and dehumanize people. My language and culture devalues women, gays, foreigners, introverts, the traumatized, those whose bodies aren’t like mine. Cancer? You’re brave. Schizophrenia? You’re crazy.

And when my normativeness is religious — when I curse people on behalf of God — it becomes murderous. Someone deports a bus full of immigrants, or massacres a reservation full of Indians, or shoots a club full of gays or a church full of blacks, because for God I have already killed them.

God, I repent of my murderous distinctions.          I renounce normal. Help me shed my judgments,          extend only mercy, and stand against the evil of my own culture,          even my own church. Help me cast out the demons,          beginning in myself. Open my eyes that I may see only your children,          all your children.                            Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve

__________________ Steve Garnaas-Holmes Unfolding Light

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