Monday, August 23, 2010

Jesus was a Hippie...

(photo from
Jesus was a hippie. Yeah, think about it. He didn't have any place to live. He had long hair and a beard. He hung around with a bunch of other guys with long hair and beards. He had ideas about how to live that ran totally counter-cultural. He was very spiritual. Yep, Jesus was a hippie. Oh, he wasn't into the drugs or anything, but he must have been a hippie.

Think about it...why else would he constantly talk about unconditional love? He was always talking about "love your brother" this, or "love your neighbor" that. One time, he even said something about loving your neighbor JUST LIKE you love yourself. For crying out loud, the signs were everywhere. How did we miss it?

It makes perfect sense. Only a hippie would talk about loving someone else with absolutely no conditions. Of course there are conditions on love, always have been, always will be. Maybe not so much between parent and child, but that's probably about it. I can't think of anything my kids could do that would make me stop loving them; other folks, however...well, you get the point. Love is conditional...unless you're a hippie like Jesus.

Oh, it's not a bad thing...that Jesus was a hippie. Talking about peace and love is a good thing. Getting a bunch of folks to follow you, talking about peace and love, is a good thing. They'll go tell their friends about this peace and love that you're talking about, then their friends will tell their friends, and on and on, until most everybody is talking about peace and love. I think it's actually pretty cool.

But something clicked for me this week. Most of the people in the world are not hippies...unless you're a child of the 60's, then maybe. I kind of hate that I missed all of that by a decade or so. So, since most of the people in the world are not hippies, then this one hippie's message of peace and unconditional love sounds almost foreign to them.

It sounds good in theory, and we talk about it a lot, but when it comes to putting it into practice, not so much a good idea. We have to have conditions. That's what keeps us safe. If we love unconditionally, like this hippie Jesus told us to, there's a real good chance we're going to be taken advantage of. We can't have that.

We sit and listen to our pastors' messages on unconditional nod in a agreement. Heck, we might even toss in an "Amen" every now and then, but when it comes to putting the boots to the ground, there will be conditions...always is. And it breaks my heart.

Maybe I'm just a big ol' softie, I don't know. But I do have a tendency to display some righteous anger when I see conditions being put on love, a holy temper tantrum maybe. When folks are excluded, picked on, or hungry and we think we have the right to decide who gets in, keeps their dignity, or eats, I get mad. I can't help it. Most of the time I can control it pretty well, sometimes, not so much.

But hey, even though Jesus was a hippie, every now and then he threw a temper tantrum over the exact same things. Peace and love...unconditional love. What's wrong with wanting that?

Peace...and love,

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