Listen To The Pope, Not Franklin Graham, If You Want To Know Jesus

Pope Francis hugs a man in his visit to a rehab hospital.
Pope Francis hugs a man in his visit to a rehab hospital.

Listen to the Pope’s words about love and acceptance and remember that Jesus wasn’t a white privileged male. He was a refugee who walked with the broken-hearted and those deemed as the “alien.”

Listen to the Syrian child who is denied entrance into a country because he is seen as the enemy (Jesus was seen as no less to Herod, who was only concerned about the security of his empire).

Listen to the Afro-Latina poet who writes about being brown in a world of white privilege.

Listen to the queer black priest who talks about breaking bread with his family at Christmas.

Listen to the bisexual runaway who has no place to go because his parents kicked him out once they knew his orientation/identity. Do not preach to him of love, as your words mean little. Hold his hand. Offer him food.

Listen to the stripper who publishes essays on feminism. Do not think you know the beginning, middle, or end of her story—or yours. You don’t how much you might need her someday. Remember Rahab.

Listen to the women who created Black Lives Matters, and begin to see bodies that were once invisible to you.

Listen to the Native Americans who are desperately trying to save their land from the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the veterans who have sworn to protect them. God heard the cry of Abel’s blood when Cain murdered him. America’s soil is drenched in the blood of the Native Americans and African Americans. Can you hear their cry?

Listen to the Muslim women who are marching for the voiceless because their love is matched with righteous anger. Remember Jesus in the Temple.

Listen to the refugee writer with Lyme disease who writes about brokenness. No Bible verse will erase the pain and weakness coursing through her joints, but it was the woman with chronic bleeding who dared to touch Jesus without asking permission.

Listen to the Cuban fiction author who was a paramedic for years, chronicling the stories of the wounded and the forgotten.

Listen to the African American woman when she checks your white privilege, because like Christ, she has worn a double consciousness all her life. No one was expecting the Messiah to be a carpenter or a refugee. They weren’t expecting him to talk in parables and touch lepers. They weren’t expecting him to be so…human.

Listen to Franklin Graham if you must, but understand his savior mirrors Trump more than the Jesus who fed thousands, healed the sick, and let all the little children come to him. Graham is more concerned with kingdom building and empire security even as the bodies of the broken get crunched underneath his evangelical army.

And Jesus weeps.