I cringe when I see a sign reading, “Jesus loves you.” Not because I don’t believe it. In fact a part of me smiles. But mostly, I cringe. Many people will read that and roll their eyes. What that phrase tends to translate to is: “I hate gays, Jews, and blacks. I am too dumb to get science and I use religion as a crutch instead of just ‘dealing’ with my problems. I am better than you because of all the ‘good’ things I do and if I do something wrong, stupid or immoral…God told me to do it. Walk away now because I am about to shove scripture down your throat and then ask for your credit card number. God cares, but not me.” The moment I tell someone that I am a Christian I see the accusations in their face. The sad part is that they have every right to.
Signs that read “Jesus loves you” are easy to slap on a bumper or a bulletin board. It means that I can feel good about myself because I did my part as a “dutiful” Christian and then go about my day, my problems, my happiness, my cares…my life and not think about yours. Sometimes I think that the sign would be more accurate if it read, “Jesus loves you, but I don’t” because that is how most people are. I don’t know what those people believe then because the Jesus I know, the god I know isn’t about selfish love. The god I believe in loves unconditionally and with sacrifice. I believe in true love. Not the Hollywood crap but the “real deal.” Putting someone before your self. Going out of your way to help someone out even if it is a stranger or an enemy. And especially if it means losing sleep, study time, money. I believe in unconditional love. I would not give less to my lesbian friend, or my atheist friend. I would never view a Muslim or Buddhist or someone that had an abortion or is promiscuous as unworthy of my time.
Going into the nursing profession is a blessing to me. I go to my clinicals and I help. I clean and feed patients, check vitals, do dressings, insert catheters, give meds. And it won’t ever matter who they are or what they believe. I just get to help them no questions asked. That is the love I believe in.
Jesus loves you. But so do I.
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