Horizontal Conversion

I live in a town that pretty much embraces the motto, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

I admit to still being shocked when a young woman, showing me her new purse, exposes her small pistol. This is new to me, the me whose six boys resigned themselves to gnawing peanut butter sandwiches into intricate weapons of self-defense, and bent posable Barbies into pistols. Until I gave up and bought them all squirt guns.

The thing is, these gun-toting townspeople are less about themselves than our biases would lead us to believe. These same people are actively involved in feeding the homeless, mentally ill and otherwise needy, and when one dreadlocked kid, fresh from Burning Man and reeking of New-Age everything ventured into church, he left with a job offer, a brand-new sleeping bag, two sheep skins, and a place to stay, in case he got tired of his car/sleeping quarters.

He texts me on a regular basis from where he’s landed, asking questions like, “Can you pray for me?

So I pray for him, and for myself, that I will not be satisfied with the conversion I’ve experienced through Jesus Christ until that conversion extends to every horizontal plane, allowing me to see others, not through the eyes of my assumptions, not as mere “projects” to sway to my thinking, or as notches in my holster, but with the same love that Christ pours into me. The love where “mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed.” (Psalm 85:10)

What if I loved in His Truth, rather than my assumptions of truth; His righteousness, rather than my self-righteousness; and loved with His peace that bathes others with a desire to know the only One who can give True Anything, and does.

I’m below ground zero in this, but I can start here, “Lord, make me willing to be made willing to love like You”.


He (Jesus) will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance, nor make a decision based on hearsay.

Isaiah 11:3 NLT

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

Romans 2:4 NLT

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