Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child. Have fun!
Monday, September 28, 2015
Close your eyes
Think about that for a moment. Can we do it? Is it even possible to see without judging?
"...Then, we are no longer saddled by the burden of our persistent judgments, our ceaseless withholding, our constant exclusion. Our sphere has widened, and we find ourselves, quite unexpectedly, in a new, expansive location, in a place of endless acceptance and infinite love." (Gregory Boyle, Jesuit priest and founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in his book, Tattoos on the Heart)
Maybe, just maybe, Victor has an advantage over all of us. He will be unable to judge by the color of one's skin, by scars or tattoos, by the over or underdressed.
But being human, he will make judgements based on his own self-determined standards.
It is my prayer, however, that he will grow in love, in that "endless acceptance and infinite love" that Boyle so eloquently illustrates in his many stories working with the members of Los Angeles gangs.
Many have asked me why I haven't written for a while. Others have questioned my vagueness when I do write. Some know and understand that there is so much I cannot say. But truth be told, there is so much I don't know how to say. We have become the students; learning more and more about this idea we so flippantly talk about - love. And seeing firsthand what the lack of love can cause in a person, a family, a community, a culture.
We know we are to love the unlovable, the ones who make it difficult, the ones who push back, the ones who don't look or act or behave the way they should, the ones who say they want nothing to do with this thing called love. But how many of us really do? And then how many of us do it well? How many of us are in it for the long haul? It's so easy to bail. Or want to bail. I do. Several times a day.
Our family has been loved so well for so long. But it was easy. They're good kids. They are mature. They know how to communicate. They know of love and forgiveness. They're leaders. But now we're a little more difficult to love. We are different. We scream. We throw tantrums. We are defiant. We struggle to communicate. We don't always engage. We don't all see the world the way those around us do. We're still lovable, it's just harder. And now, like someone recently, you might be tempted to say to us, "I can't believe that's your child."
Oh yeah, then I guess you don't know me very well.
Part of me wants to apologize for our new normal. To apologize for the way we look, the way we act, and the way we struggle to love back. But the other part of me knows that this is a lesson not just for the King family. It's for all of us who are called to a love that is infinite and full of endless acceptance. A love that isn't focused on the outcome, that doesn't even care what the outcome will be, but simply loves to love like Jesus.
Jesus loved Judas. Think about that. He knew that Judas was not only going to reject Him but ultimately to betray Him to a brutal death. And because Jesus didn't stay in the grave, we are called to the same kind of love. Love that is willing to give all, no matter what.
The Pharisees often wondered among themselves about how Jesus could spend time with the people He did; those people. The answer is simple, He was called to those people. So am I. So are you. So if someone wants to wonder how that could be my child, then you need to get to know me a little better. I'm called to love like Jesus which means stepping out of my comfortable, tidy, and familiar world and into a world that is dark, vulnerable, and hurting. It means learning some new words. It means becoming knowledgeable in disorders and medical lingo. It means prayer like never before and trust that is sweet and hard all at the same time.
I'm not called to the gangs of Los Angeles and you might not be called to open your home but you are called to love. The sweet, hard, endless, accepting love of Jesus. The kind He freely gives to you and me. Period.
Ready to close your eyes and see with the other one? There's a world waiting for you.