Archive for the Christine “Clarity” McDonald Category

Love Your Neighbor… ALL of ’em!

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , on June 13, 2018 by paulthepoke

Featuring Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Christine is commissioned by the Missouri Supreme Court for the Trafficking Task Force.

“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely. …He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Christine McDonald

The following is from The Same Kind of Human Seeing the Marginalized and Exploited Through Eyes of Grace, Christine “Clarity” McDonald

C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.” Oftentimes as Christians we try expressing the love of Christ through kindness alone, but as Lewis stresses, kindness is but one attribute of love – it is not actually love itself. When we consider how we love others, what is our motive? Are we satisfied if we are just the seed planter? Are we satisfied if we are simply serving?

In the book of Luke we read, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35).

If this is how we are to treat our enemies, how should we treat those for whom we have compassion and want to see brought into His Kingdom?

homeless

Loving others is an act of obedience, but we cannot trick God. He alone sees our hearts. He knows if we are giving food to the hungry out of love, or if we are merely baiting the hungry so we can guilt them to repentance with our message… our message. God’s message is not one of trickery or condemnation, nor does it demand that broken people turn from their vices before crying out to Him. God alone can fill our empty spaces, cleanse us of our sins, and buff our rough places. He alone can draw us in.

The Lover of Our Souls draws us through compassion. He alone meets us where we are, wipes away our tears, and saves us. When we give to those who are in need, it should be the overflow of what we have been given, and it should be truly free. When we put a price or a demand on these actions, we are cheating the very ones who move His heart.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:40, NLT. 

The question is, how, then, are we treating Christ?

Love your neighbor… ALL of ’em! -Christine “Clarity” McDonald

 

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Broken… But the Grace of Jesus Christ

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture, Gospel with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldFeaturing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

I had heard of a God who was condemning. I knew I was going to burn in hell for all my wickedness. I was full of shame and guilt. I was homeless. I was addicted. I was a prostitute. I was lost in darkness, wandering in my own wilderness. I was well aware of my brokenness. For real, I had heard this message before.

I felt shameful and dirty, things I already felt on my own. I didn’t need to hear these things from “those people” – the people who had a shower, who had shoes, who had a home. I didn’t need to hear it from those who did their good deed of scooping food on our trays, leaving them feeling a bit better about themselves. While these things were free, they still cost so much for us; the burden of the shame was bags of gold full.

The last thing any of us needed was confirmation of how messed up our lives were. Believe it or not, we were all well aware of our brokenness, our bondage, our chains that gripped so cripplingly tight. I often went many days without food solely because I could not handle the damnation preached so hard and heavy at the soup kitchen mere blocks from where I existed.

soup kitchen

The preaching required in order to receive the food which was needed to sustain life, human life, were binding strings. I left feeling judged and condemned. The last thing I wanted was a relationship with a God who was so grand that He judged harshly. Frequently we would leave talking about how painful it was to just get food. Food was successful to physically bring us in, but the price – judgment – pushed us away in spirit. Many times, the prayers spoken over us were to remove the demons from us, rather than prayers for safety or hope or peace.

When I got off the streets and off dope, I learned of this man who had been in the Heavens who chose to be a homeless being, who was judged for His work. He knew how messed up I was. He knew how messed up the world was and would continue to be. Yet, He still chose to face the bondage of this world, to be born and to die. He was murdered in the most humiliating way so that I could have a second chance, a chance to enter the gates of heaven. He could do something no one else could. He could forgive me of my sins, and He offered me grace. He loved me so much that He willingly was born for the sole purpose of dying for me. He even knew me before I was born and loved me.

When I heard this message, I cried. I wept. How could He love me so? Was this the same message I had heard at the soup kitchen that turned me away when I had no shoes my feet, my body battered and bloody with road rash from being pushed out of a moving car, in paper clothes? Was this the same message I heard when I had been turned away because of “no shoes, no shirt, no service”? If I had heard such a loving and compassionate message during the years before, maybe I would have embraced His love sooner.

I am thankful for my journey of brokenness. My experiences shaped me to help others understand the plights of individuals such as myself and empower those trapped in the grips of hopelessness. However, I often wonder how many good and well-meaning believers crust the message and push away broken people away rather than drawing them closer to the arms of the Father. How many lose sight of the calling to love people to Him by meeting them where they are, tending to the human needs first?

Can desperately hungry people hear your message anyway? If they are broken, do they need confirmation of their brokenness? A loving approach with no strings attached is a powerful message. Maybe it should be as simple as the message, truly allowing love to be shared – the love of our God who sent His only begotten Son to die for us.

Somehow we Christians have missed the intersection joining the humanity of our fellow hurting humans with the love of Christ. I do not mean we aren’t preaching at these folks – we are doing that ad nauseam. No, what I mean is that we are not engaging with their basic human needs – such as food, water, and shelter – without attaching strings of judgment and wagging fingers in our interactions with them.

If we are created in God’s image, meant to be His representatives to a broken world, then perhaps we should follow His model. Jesus tended to people’s human needs before presenting a spiritual message. He chose not to condemn when He had every right to. Perhaps we should seek to love with tangible expressions of Christ’s unconditional love. Perhaps then the message can be heard.

 

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Introducing Christine “Clarity” McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldProstitute. Addict. Homeless. Criminal. Christine “Clarity” McDonald, survivor of human trafficking and author of the memoir Cry Purple, challenges the biases and assumptions we commonly hold about exploited and marginalized populations. Through stories of her own lived experiences, Scripture, thought-provoking commentary, and practical resources, she unveils the humanity of these individuals and helps us to see them through the eyes of Jesus — eyes of grace. In helping us see the humanity of those we often judge or shun, she empowers us to instead reach out with arms of love and a message of hope.

 

Yes, I won’t lie. It makes me feel some kind of way when you are connecting with your Christian circles. You are hurting or in need. And they say, “Everything happens for a reason.” There is a time for that conversation. Sometimes we just need to share empathy… and allow one another to hurt. -Christine “Clarity” McDonald


Christians: When someone has tragedy and your response is “everything happens for a reason,” you make God sound like an asshole. Stop saying that. Not everything that happens is God’s will. He’s not an asshole. -Anny Donewald, CEO & Founder at Eve’s Angels

 

 

 

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