Ponderings: Symptoms of Separation

LinsteadtI see a lot of theories and statements on news and social media these days about the origins of the world’s problems. People say that Islam (or other religions) is the problem, guns are the problem, mental illness is the problem, speech is the problem, violent movies are the problem–the list goes on and on. The truth is these are not the origins of the world’s problems; these are only the symptoms. The origin of the world’s problems is our belief that we are separate from one another, and that our particular ideology makes us right and everyone else wrong.

This is a lie. We are not separate from one another. Something happened at the cross two thousand years ago. Something that the disciples, apostles, and early followers of Messiah all new. That Messiah has made One New Man (Ephesians 2:14-16). Not a new religion. He came to unite all of humanity under the lordship of the Heavenly Father. That Shavuot when the tongues of fire fell on the disciples was the time of the pouring out of the Spirit not only on the children of Israel, but upon all of humanity (Acts 2:17). This is the very reason why the Jews listening to the testimony of Paul in Acts 22:1-22, cried out for his execution when He stated that the Messiah was sending him to the Gentiles.

Like a man who looks at his reflection in the mirror and then forgets what he looks like, we have forgotten in our collective consciousness, that we are that One New Man. Just like parts of a human body, the One New Man is made of many parts, both Jew and Gentile, male and female, young and old, rich and poor (1 Corinthians 12:12).

So how do we heal this collective body of humanity? By loving one another. What does that practically look like? By looking past our differences, and choosing to find ways to connect. With each connection, we invite the light of the Divine to dwell there. The more we can connect, the more darkness that must flee from our midst.

We have to stop pointing the fingers at others, and look at ourselves. We are the problem. Our lack of self-reflection is the problem, our lack of empathy is the problem, our propensity to judge others when we have logs in our own eyes is the problem, our elitist mindset is the problem.
Every person we encounter that brings up something unpleasant in us is a gift from Hashem. It is an opportunity to look past what we see with our human eyes and see something deeper. To work on ourselves and allow G-d’s light to refine and correct us.
Look for solutions to connect and heal. Our Messiah showed us how. Stand up and say, “I will love others, with the same intensity that the Messiah had for me, with the same boundless love the Father extends to me every morning when I am given a new day to live. I will look deeper; I will try to find the same spark of divinity in this person that G-d sees in them. I will see past the masks they wear in order to cope with their pain and hurt. I will love them.”

The way I see it, it is no longer about who is in the Kingdom anymore. We’re all in. It is now a matter of whether we’re the Bride or whether we’re the guests (Matthew 22:10).

The ground is level at the cross for a reason; it is in order that we might finally look at each other, face to face, and see each other as the children of G-d that we all are, that we have always been, that we will always be.