“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself,
cannot be my disciple.”
It’s probably not your mother and father.
It’s probably someone else, or maybe everybody,
in front of whom you don’t want to look stupid.
You don’t have to hate them,
but you have to be willing for them to hate you
for your politics or your trans friends or your anti-racist work,
or your letter to the editor or your allegiance to bees.
You have to be willing for them to think you’re alien
for taking your faith so seriously,
for declaring a hope that looks silly,
for standing in a vulnerable place for justice,
for sticking to the discipline that gives your life frame and strength.
And, let’s face it, sometimes
you have to care more about praying than you do about your friends,
or you would never pray.
You don’t have to lose your care for life,
but you do have to lose your attachment the life you engineer
instead of the life you’re given.
There’s some major letting go to be done.
Count the cost.
Don’t leave anything out.
Then count the cost of giving up.
September 4, 2019