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Lindensmith: 'If you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me'

Just the other day in Ontario the Guelph Seventh-Day Adventist Church was vandalized with hateful graffiti in black spray paint.

The church was targeted because it is multi-ethnic, including people of all colors and of all backgrounds. Every Sabbath, about 40 members attend worship services.

"We're putting people on high alert here," Pastor Selburn Fray told the Guelph Mercury Tribune.

But, here's the cool part:

If the church community ever finds out who vandalized the church, members said they would not show anger toward them. Instead, the church would welcome the individual or group with love and forgiveness.

"Even though someone may do this, we're open to forgive and to welcome them with open arms," Fray said.

This got my attention because many of our churches here in Fargo are also multi-ethnic church families.

I often try to understand what is going on in the mind of the Muslim, Christian or Secularist terrorist. Is there actually a message in their madness or is it a cathartic experience validating their existence? Everyone believes a cause—a purpose bigger than ourselves.

What if that cause was Christ? Seeing others as Jesus saw them. Reacting and interacting with love and forgiveness.

Jesus said, "If you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me!" Living as Christ lived, now there's a cause. In 1963, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., predominantly African Americans, was the target of the racially motivated bombing that killed four young girls in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement.

You probably remember the picture of the girls. But you probably don't remember the beautiful stained-glass window featuring a Black Jesus donated by the country of Wales to replace the stained glass destroyed by the bombing.

The window's creator, John Petts, said he was horrified "as a father and as a craftsman." He wanted to donate his skill and installed the picture of Christ in the front window facing south. At the bottom of the window he placed the powerful words as a reminder to us all: "You did it to me!"

Lindsmith lives in West Fargo.