11:48pm - Lately I've been really disturbed with the level of hate and criticism coming from people I know. It seems to reach to about anyone around who is different in some way. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always accepting and loving like I should be. I was afraid of Muslim people until I got to know some. They're just like every other American I know in so many ways and--believe it or not--really nice. When I'm with people of different races and cultures I actually feel privileged to have the experience. It's not worth being afraid of what you don't know. Unfortunately this has left me feeling rather judgmental myself toward people who judge someone without even knowing them. This notion that Muslims are all terrorists has to cease. It's a perversion of Islam. Period. The worst mistake Christians can make is thinking we're better than other people because we have the umbrella of salvation. Remember Jesus hung out with people like these. We can't love if we don't look past our differences and try to see the similarities.
For example, I was looking at art on DeviantArt yesterday and I found this piece of digital art by a Muslim artist. It had a castle in the clouds and it struck me that it looked very much like one of my own pieces. It was even mostly pink! It was then that I realized we aren't so different. We both have dreams of eternity and paradise. We both want to be pure someday; no longer hopeless sinners.
Now I'm not saying we should be tolerant exactly. But it needs to be a balance of acceptance and truth spoken in love. Not harassment or hate; truth in word and deed. It simply breaks my heart to hear people saying bad things about others who are lost and struggling while they sit in their little Christian bubble like they're not also made up of evil as well as good.
There's a song I like to listen to while pondering this one scene I'm planning. It's called "Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave" by James Horner. Yes, it's from Titanic and its one of the saddest songs imaginable. For the scene I picture my characters going up to heaven with Jesus, then looking back to see people being pulled down through the ground Morlock-style. Put those together and see if it doesn't make you a little more compassionate. Christians should consider any such loss an absolute tragedy, for lack of a stronger word. That's an eternity of living in the darkest dungeon; with pure evil at every turn; nothing but pain and misery that never, ever ends. Instead of scoffing at people who we believe are headed there, we should have a heart that hurts for them, like Jesus does. Every life is inconceivably precious, no matter the life. This story is about God wanting to be with us forever, and Jesus died to offer that for everyone, not just people we deem acceptable. </end rant>