It’s been a rough past 7 days, hasn’t it. My heart broke into thousands of pieces as I watched the nightmare that happened to you on Sunday. I say this to you, because it could have been you, it could have been any of us. It could have definitely have been me, too. Along with this atrocity, this senseless shooting, something else happened that broke my heart a million times more. Some humans decided that it was ok to condemn you. You, the one with the open wound, the one with your heart in your hands broken of despair and anguish. As fear entered your heart, some chose to expose their selfish desire for judgement, calling themselves pastors, teachers, God lovers. They chose to ignore your pain, the wounded soldier, and kick you where you thought it couldn’t hurt more. Claiming to know what God thought of you, they made their assumptions known and that probably caused you to harden your heart to the One who is more heartbroken than all of us, God. In His name, a shooter murdered your friends and in His name, strangers condemned you. That is not the God that I know.

I wanted to introduce to you, my friend Jesus. As I write this letter to you, I’m reminded of how He is called “the man of sorrows” in scripture. It says ” He was rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem”. Pretty much like you. His friends where fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes. He made a lot of wine at a wedding when they ran out and feed a multitude of over five thousand with five fishes and two breads. He gave sight the blind, touched lepers and healed them, raised dead to life and healed every kind of sickness that existed. His message was a message of love and redemption and He was despised by religious leaders for it. They felt that His message of love would destroy their religion. They followed Him around to kill Him because of it. Religious leaders of His time did not understand Jesus, and they rejected Him and killed Him. His message didn’t come with a set of rules, it didn’t come with strings attached and they hated Him for it. Jesus was a threat.

So you see, it doesn’t surprise me that religious leaders today reject you, too. Maybe because they don’t understand the immense love Jesus has for you. So, I wanted you to know how much He does, love you, excessively and extravagantly. He loves you today and he knows you more than your closest friend. No strings attached. His words resonate in my heart as I write to you, ” for God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him”. This is for you, and He still loves to heal broken hearts, I know because He healed mine.

Today, I ask you not to judge Jesus for the opinions of some of His “followers”, and the reason why I unquote it is because, Jesus said his friends would be known by the level they love people, so you can make your own assumptions on that. So I offer you my friend, Jesus to you, and His simple message of love.

God bless you.

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