[This is part two of a series — part one is here.]
The other day, I wrote about how enamored I am with the living, human Jesus vs. the one ascending into the clouds as the masses gape in awe at his supernatural glory — like this painting…
And it’s true. I love the human Jesus. The one who went to the margins of society, fed the poor, and taught an alternative form of anti-egoic perennial wisdom that applies to life in the flesh today.
I also wrote the other day about how I consider myself a religious humanist.
There’s been a lot of human-talk coming from my corner of the internet lately (hooray for humans!). But I have to say, as much as I love humans, I’m also aware of how we seem to be wired with the innate propensity to muck things up.
In and of ourselves, we’re pretty great (if I do say so myself), but there’s something about us — a proclivity of sorts — that makes us turn in on ourselves and thereby others at certain points throughout life.
Sometimes things get really dark inside the human heart and mind (maybe you know what I’m talking about). And there are a lot of really well-intended feel-good personal development/spiritual self-help books out there that tells us if we just change our thoughts and beliefs, we can be rid of this kind of proclivity forever.
But I beg to differ (and I think Jesus did too)…
When we live with the profound and radical awareness of God's grace, we become superhuman.
[Note, I didn’t say ‘suprahuman’, I said ‘superhuman’ — there is a difference.]
With grace, worthiness goes out the window. There’s nothing to ‘do’ here. There is no ladder to climb or 7-step process to get God’s grace. Grace is built into the source code of the human condition.
Grace… We can be resurrected from the many deaths we experience as humans when we recognize a presence that’s closer than flesh yet lies beyond the personal ego that we can surrender our despair to.
Because this stuff — the dark stuff — is real for us humans. I don’t think it ever goes away, no matter how ‘spiritual’ or how ‘secular’ we become.
But with grace, we’re forgiven, renewed, and enlivened. Time and time again. We’re able to love and live more fully no matter the history of the situation.
And so, yes… We have the propensity to royally muck things up. But we also have the propensity to love each other and ourselves more deeply if we can get beyond ourselves.
Jesus, the embodiment of the divine meeting flesh, just put a face to this principle. Jesus, the prime example and wayshower. 100% human and 100% divine. Just as we all are.