Let me start out by saying this, I no longer care for being a “good christian”, instead, I’ve decided to work on being a good Lover. A month ago I sat down and tried to write about my summer in San Francisco. since then, I’ve written and erased over and over, hitting the backspace button more times than i can count, and listened to more Colbie Caillat than I’d like to admit to. And the only thing that I’ve accomplished is comming to the realization that I cannot adequately process or justly tell of the experiences I had in San Francisco this summer. how am I supposed to explain how bums, crack addicts, and drug dealers taught me more about Jesus than any bible professor ever did? how am I supposed to tell you that sharing food and conversation and laughter with “the least of these” may have taught then more about Jesus than any bible verse ever did? You see, I live in a place filled with 28 thousand dollar “christian educations” and churches filled with half million dollar speaker systems. How am I supposed to go to those churches and sit next to folks who make six figures, when i just spent a summer sitting in church with barefoot kids who’s parents couldn’t afford shoes for them? And im not talking about Africa, that happening right here in good ol’ california. Now im not sayin i know much of anything, but I just find it hard to believe that the Jesus I know would spend much time at a “christian college”. My guess is that Jesus would rather go hang out with the crack addicts while all the “christians” snickered about the type of friends He was chosing. When i went home, I got chewed out by a member of my church after telling them that i spent the summer hanging out with drug dealers and prostitutes. They couldnt understand why I would spend time with “those type’s of people”. It not like I could claim I had great spiritual conversations with all these people, but I can honestly say that in a place where the most common view of “christians” is the streetcorner screamer with the sign saying “God hates fags”, that simply hanging with gays and saying, “you know what, God loves fags, not for what they do, but simply for who they are as people”, that right there probably accomplished more for a gay person than any bible verse or streetcorner screamer ever could. Part of the reason i cant describe my summer to you is because all I did was love on people, and that can be hard to explain…I loved on people for no other reason than because Jesus loves them, and since im a follower of Jesus, then I should be loving those people too. I dont know what else to write…… I guess what I’m trying to say is, that this summer I learned that maybe you think that because you go to a christian school, or you sing along in church, or you dont curse or whatever, then you’re a good person, a good christian. you know what? I think you’re just as lost as the crack addicts i hung out with. you just lonely and looking for something to fill the void. maybe church fills that void for you, for my friends, crack fills that void. whats the difference? all the things we buy go a long way to cover up our insecurities. the homeless dont have those things to cover up their problems, but they’re really no different from me and you. I really dont think God cares that much about how much money you put in the offering, or how loud you sing. I think He cares about how you love on other people and how much you love Him. You can go to all the bible classes in the world, and you can go to the best church in the world and give all the money in the world…but if you dont love on other people, then you’re nothing more than a pharisee. maybe me saying that pisses you off. Good. I dont have all the answers, hell, everything I’m writing could be wrong, but I have a hard time going from mud huts in Africa and barefoot homeless kids in San Francisco, to churches with big expansion plans and even bigger budgets. I dont want big churches, i dont want lots of money, and most of all I’m sick and tired of checking things off my spiritual checklist and calling myself a good christian. Instead, I’d rather follow Jesus to the slums, and hang out with the losers, and let them know that somebody loves them. I sat around with street kids and talked about Jesus while they rolled blunts. I played pool with drug dealers. shared slim jims with crack addicts and ate with people who smelled like alchohol and urine. I took of my shoes in church, and maybe all those things make me a bad “christian”. Well I dont care. If it made me a better Lover then I think thats exactly where Jesus wanted me to be, I think thats where He is, and honestly, no “church” has ever brought me closer to Jesus than those moments.