Continuing "God Pulls"...

But human power is used against God's efforts. This was seen in the way Jesus was treated, and the way many of his followers have been treated throughout history. And God always suffers with them. Not because human power can harm God, but because the fight against God's pull is a rejection of his love, a rejection by the ones he loves. God suffers because of us, because he loves us.

If we are acting with God's love, this is our suffering also: the pain of being rejected by the ones we love. And this is made even more difficult because this rejection is not just by a few individuals. It is rejection by the majority. As Jesus said, "The world hates you, but know that it has hated me before it hated you." Because it is the majority—and the overwhelming power of the majority—against us, it doesn't feel like our good efforts are being rejected by a few ungrateful people. It seems like everything is turning against us. It can seem like we are being isolated, and even God has abandoned us.

It is in those moments of rejection that it is most important to be able to feel and recognize the pull of God's love. This is how we are reassured that God has not forgotten us. And God's pull in these moments provides the creativity and strength to respond to this rejection—this alienating, threatening rejection—with love. Jesus described what that love looks like, when he said, "If any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to them the other also." This is the way of loving those who reject God's pull.

This love in the midst of rejection is what Jesus was talking about when we said to his followers, "Take up your cross and follow me."