Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The job, is love

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.”
                                                                        Thomas Merton

We only have on job
To love others
Not just to love others

But to love others without asking whether or not they are worthy

The Bible calls this agape
With agape we don’t love someone because they deserve it

With agape we don’t demand value
We create value

Once when I was younger
And my daughter a little child
There was a doll named Heidi

A gift from a much admired cousin
Named Heidi

Heidi had no value
She was a stuffed triangle with felt feel and hands
Glued directly to the body
Yarn for hair
And a painted face

She played “thank heavens for little girls”
One day, as we were 30 minutes
Into a 9 hour drive to grandmother’s house

My daughter suddenly exclaimed
“where’s Heidi”

Where indeed!?

And so, even though we had a long drive ahead
We turned back
To get Heidi
That doll of no value

I would not have returned for my wallet
But …..

That doll of no value
Had immense value
Because it was loved

That is agape
And that is what we are called to have

Agape love
We are called to have that love for the dirty and frightened
Families at the border

For the children in cages

We are called to have that kind of love for the homeless person
Asleep on a grate
And for the addicted person
Who has wet himself once again

We are called to have that kind of love for poor people
Rich people
White people
Colored people
Ill people
Old people
Young people

All people
We don’t love them because they have value
From a worldy perspective
We love them and give them value through that love

They become precious

And I suspect, so do we
One cannot love in that way
Without being changed

We are transformed by our caring
Our giving
Our kindnesses

Each of us will find this love a challenge in our own way
I have no trouble loving immigrants
I have no trouble with people who have mental illness
Or who are old (duh)

I have no trouble with the poor
Or the addicted

But I have people it is hard to love
I have trouble with Trump
Those who embrace racism

But I suspect when Jesus says
“love your neighbor”
(with agape love)
He means them too

And so I cannot be arrogant
Or smug
I cannot judge

I can only seek to be loved by agape love
Filled with agape love
And give agape love

It is a complicated thing indeed
There are boundaries in there
And even Jesus had his moments when he said


“People wake up!!!!!”

Loving doesn’t not mean challenging lies
Resisting evil

But it does mean
Seeking not destruction
But restoration
And reconciliation

I know!  Right?

But still, there it is
Agape is not for the faint of heart

So this day, I pray for love
I pray for transforming love
I prayer for enough love to embrace the world

And I pray
That even in the most tattered of hearts
The most empty of souls

And I prayer that even in my dark and angry places
Love can be born

1 comment:

  1. I love your writings and the way you express your thoughts I look forward to your posts.