Love In A Big World: Choose Love

October 10th, 2018

I’m a child of the 70’s. During most of my life, I only heard stories about the activism of the 1960’s. Mom and Dad were semi-hippies, part of the Jesus Movement; there was even a period of time we lived in community. This was my introduction to social justice. 

In our current cultural climate, tensions are high. Much of this seems to be driven by political opinions and current events. However, I wonder how much of the animosity we are seeing displayed on social media and in the news is actually fed by the need to be right. 

Each morning after I drop off my son from school, I drive by our local Planned Parenthood office. On many days, there are protesters on the sidewalk. They stand quietly, holding their rosaries and praying. I pray too — for the protesters, for the workers, and for the women who go to the clinic. This is a complex issue, and I believe that prayer is just the beginning. If we are pro-life, we need to take steps beyond protests by opening our hearts to women in need and to the unborn.

Just as the conversation around abortion is emotionally charged, some demonstrate angrily about sexuality issues, racial inequality, police brutality, and climate control. There are even companies that have been at the center of these protests.

I am thankful and supportive of people letting their voices be heard on all sides of these issues.  However, my concern is that when we need to be right we dehumanize, if not demonize, those who don’t think the same way we do.

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What if there’s another way to look at all of this? What if we choose Love?

I know some people think that choosing Love is a sign of weakness. But I also know from my own personal experience that choosing Love costs much.

There have been countless times, both personally and professionally, when people have come at me with unkind words and haughty spirits. There have been multiple attempts to assassinate my character. In those moments, I have chosen to stay publicly quiet while privately processing, carefully choosing my response knowing that my words have the power to enflame or de-escalate the situation. This has not been easy! There are times when I have wanted to shout from the rooftops, pointing out the wrongs of others. But in my heart, I could hear Holy Spirit inviting me to hold my tongue and take refuge in Him. 

I think of Jesus, hanging on the Cross. He had the power of Heaven behind Him. He could have called down the angels to rescue Him from death. He stayed for us…the joy set before Him. In the acceptance of suffering, He displayed His greatest strength and accomplished the most important victory the world has ever known. 

So what does Love do? Love listens. Love watches. Love waits. And when the hurting ones come with their stories of pain and injustice, Love embraces, understanding that their experiences have shaped their realities. Why? Because it’s not about being right, it’s about relationship — human connection.  We are more alike than we are different; we are all children of God. That’s why we pray, “Our Father, who art in Heaven…”

May each one of us be part of bringing Heaven to earth by choosing Love.

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