I have come to believe, as I know many of those I know have, that the "kingdom of heaven" that Jesus talked about being here on earth, now, is among other things, a group of people who are characterized by:
- believing that everyone is good inside/has value, even when they act to the contrary.
- choosing to intentionally, relentlessly show the truth of themselves to others and SEE (even LOOK FOR!)the truth of others.
- give the "microphone" to those who others have silenced and shamed, so that they, too, have the opportunity to show who THEY really are.
- believe that on the other side of this life, everyone will be seen and understood by everyone else, but also believe that starts HERE and NOW.
This is the mind Jesus had when he interacted with people, right? He saw people's hearts, not just their actions, and treated them as having the value they REALLY have, even if they weren't behaving in a way that was consistent with that. That's what love looks like.
When you feel understood, it changes you. It lights you up. When even your mistakes are seen within the context of who you REALLY are, you feel loved, not judged.