For most of my life, love has seemed to be this intangible mysterious thing. Undeserving. Out of reach. A privilege to the lucky few. And lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what love is. Less of a feeling, and more of an action. As much a battle and a resolve to fight as it is a haven of rest.
And when I look at the rest of the world, with this lost meaningless version of what it thinks love is, I don’t turn my head in disgust.
I get it.
It’s more difficult for me to grasp ‘church-talk’ than it is for me to sit with a group of sinners and just be open and real. Because there are days when I want to snap back. Moments when perhaps I’ve been scrutinized or judged for not being at church a few some Sunday’s, when the reason for my lack of presence isn’t that I didn’t feel like it, or simply slept in… (though I’ve had my fair share of those days). Because maybe perhaps those two Sundays ago I was sitting in the dark and stillness of my own kitchen, nothing but the sound of off-put dishes and cabinets in much need of painting – sitting across a fellow waitress who had nothing but tears and no other place to go and more bruises than you could possibly count.
It’s in those places you figure out what it’s all about. That you struggle, wrestle, perhaps are even angry with God.
I once heard this quote that stated “how we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.” The author is unfortunately unknown to me, though I would very much like to have the privilege of meeting them someday. I’d like to think that they are imperfect but own it. Somewhat witty and perhaps the slightest bit sarcastic, but with a great deal of heart.
They rise more to the doing of what’s right, and not necessarily what everyone else tells them is right. They don’t simply question or study why Jesus ate with the sinners. They live it.
And I often can’t help but think of what if the church has missed it; wish that it would pull towards this direction of sincerity and brokenness. We have to be careful that in trying so hard to be like Jesus, to be real and grace-filled and honest and loving, that we indeed find ourselves in a corner quite the opposite. I myself am guilty of trying so hard to be these things that I lose the point entirely. I’ve been a hypocrite of the hypocrites. And it took me years to feel like I was even worthy of being in a holy place. This is partially to my history, but especially as to not knowing what my place quite was in the midst of lifted hands in the middle of a worship service, and not necessarily feeling the urge to do the same. And for years, I wondered why I didn’t feel anything. Until I completely and wholly realized that statement “for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.”
He didn’t feel like it He did it. Love is a doing. It’s a dying to yourself. It’s not based on an emotional state or reaction because claiming that it is completely undermines the weight that the word truly holds.
So what if we decided then – dared to be, revolutionaries? What if we dared to love just as it is – right where you are, even in those lowliest of places.
I’m sick of living a life to anything but the one God has called me to. And that might mean not needing to say ‘blessed’ in each and every conversation, or inviting that waitress to my small group when she might not even know what the hell that even is.
What if we dared to be honest with ourselves? With others? A never perfect or easy concept, but a necessary one. I’d rather spend the rest of my life daring, than questioning what it could be like – to seek after and define and live love just as love itself did and died for me.