I probably won’t take my daughters into the bathroom, for safety reasons rather than transgender issues.
But I’m still shopping at Target. (Target will be glad, my husband not so much, based on the monthly credit card bill...).
I honestly am not writing this to one person, I’ve been home sick in bed for two days and I’ve seen the posts so many times, I don’t even remember who posted what.
I do know this. Christians have a lot to say about everything going on in our culture, and often our first response is to boycott. Don’t like public schools? Don’t go. Don’t like Target’s bathroom policy? Stop shopping there. And we are really good at complaining loudly on social media. I am using the word “we” because I am including myself. My first inclination is to stay away from something that makes me uncomfortable, or challenges me, or is contrary to what I believe.
But is that what God wants from us? Boycotting as a first response? Walking away? Getting angry? Marginalizing people?
When I look at Jesus’ life, I see Him condemning the churchy people, not the regular folks. He spent time with those who were different than Him. The woman at the well - she was a used and abused half-breed, living with a man out of wedlock, yet He sought her out to give her His Living Water. He defended the woman caught in adultery lying naked in the dust with a crowd of religious leaders ready to stone her, and pointed out that each of her condemners had their own sins. Paul, the murderer - Jesus redeemed him and made him an apostle. He made Mary the former prostitute an example of how to worship. Matthew was the hated tax collector whom Jesus called friend. The list goes on. That list includes me, too.
It seems to me that Jesus made it a habit of going to the people who were different than Him. It seems to me that Jesus made it a habit of hanging out with them, loving them, healing them, bringing redemption, making whole the broken.
It was the religious folks, the ones with the biblical background following all the rules, pointing out all the wrongs whom he called a few unsavory names.
This whole Target thing has bothered me because it has shown me how I judge, how much more I need Jesus to lead me in His way.
Each Christian needs to search Scripture in this, and in the words of Francis Schaeffer ask, “How then shall we live?”. But what I see in Jesus’ way is this: I think what He wants from us, the way we should live, is the way of love.
I go to Target for the cute pillows and great prices, and the all in one shopping. But it can also be an opportunity (when my two monkeys are behaving) for me to chat with people in line, spread a little sunshine, and share God’s love. We send our kids to public school because we believe God has called our family to share Jesus there (although we have been blessed by our public school way beyond anything we have done to deserve it).
If we don’t go to these places to tell people Jesus loves them, then how will they know?
Instead of expecting people, companies, agencies, and government programs to act like conservative Christians when they aren’t, maybe we should just be like Jesus and bring love, hope, and healing into these places. Maybe that will bring greater change to a society than any boycott ever could?
I am confident of this - Jesus always brings redemption. That’s His job and He’s good at it. And He called us to love and point people to Him.
And love always wins. Always.
So, I’m going to Target this week. To buy a few pillows, and to tell someone Jesus loves them. Wanna join me? Let’s go to one with a Starbucks. I’ll buy you a coffee and maybe we’ll find someone who needs to hear that they are loved.