I didn’t even realize that Fred Phelps had died a few days ago. Granted, I didn’t expect there to be an outpouring of love and light and glory as the singular source for much fringe annoyance left this world for the Next. But at the same time, I thought I would have felt some more of an immediate disturbance in the Christian circles and the gay circles and the Christian gay circles that I tend to frequent online, when someone as prolific and as hated as Fred Phelps was called to give account of his life before his Creator and Lord.
God have mercy on his soul. Really.
But God have mercy on my soul more importantly.
It’s easy to point at the character of Phelps and the circus parade of malice and hate that he’d perhaps intentionally fathered in Kansas. It’s easy to shine the spotlight of God’s holiness on the flawed public arguments of hate and ignorance that he perpetrated through his many years of “ministry.” It’s easy to rise in outrage at how Phelps’ “church” has become an embarrassment for the rest of us normal Christians seeking to eke out an existence on the spiritual landscape.
But… It’s the logs and specks game. Can I really say that my character is ultimately any better? When God shines his light of love on my heart and life, he most certainly sees the flawed private arguments of misdirected hatred and spiritual ignorance that I keep around as I continue to abuse His grace toward me. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to see how my lack of outrage and emotional fervor has become and embarrassment to God’s Family and God’s Kingdom. Am I merely just trying to eke out a life or am I pursuing my Master with joyful wonder?
Again, I find myself walking nervously past the flaming ones in my life, walking (with little more confidence) past the Flaming Ones at God’s throne and pitching myself on at His feet, repentant and sorry.
And while I know that He’s always so willing to forgive, may His Spirit capture my heart and life in a deeper, more meaningful way this time.