Radical

By: Gabriela Yareliz

No one is born knowing. I like this saying. It reminds me to be patient with myself when I am facing new circumstances and learning to deal. Sometimes, I place an unbelievable amount of pressure on myself.

This past week was an intense week of “learning to deal.” It was draining, emotional, and there was a question mark at every turn, inquiring of me, “Who do you want to be?”

I deal with a lot of upsetting situations. Things many people would be surprised to learn still happen.

In my profession, an attorney is more likely to be sanctioned or lose her/his license for misplacing escrow money than for being a racist, sexist bully. I am tired of a world where we care more about paper than a human being.

Someone once said that the paper money puts a roof over your head when it rains; but I would like to think that if we live in the right way and maintain relationships with love and respect, a person can offer you more than a roof over your head– a person can save you, so to speak. A person can offer you genuine and disinterested love and laughter. A person can dress you and bathe you when you are sick. Paper money cannot. Yet our priorities and what we celebrate are the other way around.

In my own frustrations and things I encountered throughout the week– as I learn to deal, I am reminded how radical life can be when you want to be a follower of Jesus. It means seeing the world and people through a lens that is very different from how others see things. That includes the upsetting things.

Today, my bible study group started studying the life of Peter. It was a profound reminder to me how God takes a person with no self-control, a wild temper, an air of superiority and filled with ambition, and He molds it into something beautiful and powerful. He completely transforms Peter.

In my figuring out of life, which is littered with plenty of mistakes, pride and feist, I see a God who has a radical sense of justice, holiness and love. A God willing to walk with me and transform me. That’s what I find most profound. Transformation doesn’t involve a Disney moment and a magic wand; it involves walking with God.

I think that when we look at Jesus’ disciples in scripture, we are reminded that we all speak from our corners with our own ideas, but in the end, none of us really knows what we are talking about until we are transformed by a radical, loving God. A God who asks us to love our enemies and offer them a place under our roof; a God who forgets no one and values flesh and blood over gain or fame.

This past week, I experienced frustration, hostility, sadness, anger, exhaustion, joy– and God keeps telling me despite all of it that He can transform me, use me and that He wants to walk with me.

As Easter nears, we are reminded to look up at an uplifted Christ on a cross. As we struggle and try to stand, we are called to cling to the cross so we can stand. It is only then that we truly understand what grace is. It is at the cross that we are reminded that the pure, Godly things are radical. Radical service. Radical love. Radical life.