Dwelling in a Place of Love

Love Letters | Schipul Love Fest 2011Are you dwelling in a place of love? I know Valentine’s Day is all about romantic love, but love is so much greater. Real love is all about being inclusive. Always. Besides, Saint Valentine is no longer a saint so it’s time to get with the times and reset our love button.

Love is a difficult concept for most Westerners because it is not linear and it’s not binary. It’s one of those zen-like concepts that isn’t quantifiable or easily defined. As with most things Jesus gave us, full of head-scratching paradoxes that don’t seem to make sense. And because what does make sense isn’t what we really want to do, we rationalize or intellectualize it into oblivion. Box checked. Case closed. Done.

This is what Jesus says about what we are to do:

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~ John 15:12-13

I can picture the scene when Jesus was sharing these things with his closest friends. About the time he gets to “as I have loved you”, they start reflecting back on how he showed them that love. This is when they start squirming because the things that they remember aren’t exactly things they wanted to do then. And they still don’t want to do them.

Things like accept and treat everyone with dignity and without any judgment. Everyone. Giving voice to those others want to silence, including the immigrant, the violated, the poor, the elderly, women, children, the transgendered and every other “group” you don’t want to acknowledge. Everyone. If it makes you squirm, it’s a God-sign. Pay attention.

And none of this “love the sinner, but hate the sin” stuff. That has no place in anyone’s phrase bank, especially a Christian. Neither you nor I nor anyone else is in a position to judge whether someone is a “sinner” and to determine what “sin” is getting in the way of their relationship with God. It’s none of our business and we’re in no position to judge. None. Never.

That leaves us with Love. Period.

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