An opportunity to love

July 13th, 2018

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”  — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

These famous lines appropriately describe our world this week. The united global effort to recover the boys trapped in the cave in Thailand demonstrated the kindness and generosity of humanity. The California woman beating the 91-year-old man with a brick and screaming at him to go back to Mexico showed the meanness and bigotry of humankind. Why are we having such disparate reactions to our fellow human beings?

Taking it a step further…into an area I usually never discuss…the ongoing debate about abortion and women’s rights as a result of the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh has also ignited greater division. People are angrily debating their point of view. But what about the people involved? If a woman terminates her pregnancy, are we willing to provide the emotional and spiritual support she needs? If a woman carries her baby to term, are we willing to provide the physical, emotional, spiritual and medical care that she and her child need during pregnancy and throughout their lives?

I have some friends who lament the state of the world. “Things have gotten worse. They’ve never been this bad,” they say. But what I see is an opportunity to love.

Love is simple, but it’s not easy.

Love costs everything. Love requires us to lay aside our judgments, our right to be right. That’s what Jesus did for us on the Cross.

When I look at current events, I see an invitation to love like Jesus. My willingness is not required, but it is requested. When I think about how Jesus loves me, about His faithfulness to me over the years, I am compelled to action. You don’t know my story, but I have one — just like you do. One of my headlines within the past decade would have read: Divorced, Single Mom of Three Adopted Children Lives on Welfare in Urban Community while Going Back to School. The odds were stacked against me and my kids. But it was during my most broken and difficult times that I learned I was loved, not for what I did but because I am simply a child of God.

This experience of love urges me to pour it all out, for He is worthy of all my devotion.

I pray we all have the courage to look in the mirror, see our wounds, and ask Jesus to heal us with His love. Then, and only then, will we be empowered to love our neighbor as ourselves.

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