The eschatological dimension, on the other hand, of the presence and activity of the Spirit, affects deeply the identity of the other: it is not on the basis of one's past of present that we should identify and accept him or her, but on the basis of one's future. And since the future lies only in the hands of God, our approach to the other must be free from passing judgment on him. Every "other" is in the Spirit a potential saint, even if he appears to have been or continues to be a sinner.Everyone in the Spirit is a potential saint. And we should accept everyone on the basis of their future, which is only in the hands of God. I can't express how much this is on my heart.
How do we live in a way that is blind to past and present wrongs, in full assurance of the power of the Spirit to transform lives? How do we empty ourselves, subject our will to God, move to meet the other - our neighbor - when our lives are splintered? How do we get past fear and "love the other not only in spite of his or her being different from us but because they are different from us"? How do "we live in freedom as love and in love as freedom"?
These thoughts are too big, and I feel like I've been run over by a freight train. I want to understand, but these ideas seem just out of grasp. I have innumberable questions, and questions about those questions, and questions about potential answers, and further potential questions.
The biggest challenge, obstacle, wall to be clambered over gracelessly that I'm encountering is to choose joy. Sure, it's a beautiful revelation that joy is not an emotion, but an attitude, a lifestyle to be lived in the darkest of times. But... how do we go about choosing joy? What does joy look like?
I see it in the relationships between roommates, like Jill and Em, like Megan and Taylor. I hear it in laughter echoing down the hall, from Kate and Lauren and Rachael. I experience it in the strength of embraces, from Jessica and Brian and Chris.
But in the empty moments, in the quiet hours, in the lonely days...
How can I be joyful and sad at the same time?
Choose to build bridges in order to be a witness.
Choose to accept others based on their potential for goodness.
Choose to love without bounds or hesitation.
This is the article (a different edition) from which the above quotations come.