Wednesday, June 22, 2011

True Love

If there is one thing that always brings me joy, it is leaving a conversation feeling challenged. The more you offend, criticize, critique or question me the more I love talking to you. A new friend of mine, whom I met at a local shelter I've been visiting lately, threw some curve balls - right at my head - and it was everything I could do to dodge them. But I didn't want to just dodge them, I wanted to hit them, at least a foul ball.

Gary wanted to know: If someone bombed my house, would I love them? Or would I get angry? Would I hate them?

Well, I said, I'd be angry. For sure I'd be upset. Yet, there is hope against hope that I would show some semblance of love towards them, too. Of course, I know that is the answer I am supposed to give: love. I'd love. Gary didn't buy it, though.

He asked the other two people at the table, and their answers weren't so noble as mine; or maybe they were just that much more honest. One said they would forgive, but wouldn't be giving that guy a handshake anytime soon. The other said something along the lines of "I'd cut em." Well, maybe I would to. I probably don't have that much rebel in me, though. Not that kind, anyway.

This story isn't about my goodness and the other people's faults. It's actually about my realization that I really might not know how to love, not that Matthew 5:39 kind. "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."

The truth is, I don't have years of oppression built into me, I've lived a happy, white, privileged life. Sure, hard things have happened, but nothing Christ hasn't healed and brought peace into, or is doing so now.

At the close of this conversation, I told Gary that I couldn't put myself in dangerous situations or allow awful things to happen to me just so I could figure out if I would love a person or not. He responded "Of course not, I don't think you should do that." Gary then went on to say one the most beautiful things I've ever heard:

"If this love you are talking about is coming from that Guy up above, than that's the only love this could be. That is true love."

Yes yes yes. I smiled and thanked God that my meager attempt to represent Him is covered by the truth that He is love. When I am not, He is love.


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