I’ve started to write out so many things in the last few weeks. But nothing seems enough. No words can possibly bring justice. My heart hurts. We live in a broken world. It seems every time I blink another tragedy starts unraveling.
Sometimes I let myself dwell in that. And I get truly sick about it. I cry and sit silent. I let my relationships with my kids and my husband suffer. I don’t want to get dressed or cook or clean. I don’t know what to do or how to help when it seems so big. Some days the realities of the world are too heavy.
“Love” has been the go-to answer as what the appropriate response is. Which is true, the problem is it’s not our love we need, it’s His. The way we understand love is conditional, all of it. We love someone because of, fill in the blank; their cooking, their sense of humor, their bank account, their abilities, etc. We pick spouses and friends based on similarities and qualities we appreciate. We don’t feel the same for someone who is rude, mean, or even just annoying. Let alone human traffickers, terrorists, racists, white supremacists, monsters. However, He does.
It seems unreal and quite frankly, unfair. It’s something I don’t think we can ever grasp. His love for us is deep. For each one of us. Bin Laden, my babies, Mother Teresa, Catelyn Jenner, your neighbor, Obama, Donald Trump, Joel Osteen. He loves them all the same. Which means, we as believers, need to attempt to do the same. We need to be offering love to anyone and everyone.
The thing is, we have come to redefine love. We, as a society, have removed all trace of God from love and replaced it with acceptance, “good vibes” tolerance, blind support, likes on social media. The Lord does not show us love this way. He loves us with a true love, a pure love. A love that doesn’t change when things get hard, when we mess up, when we run away. Its discipline, its wisdom, it’s hard, but necessary truth. It’s thoughtfulness. It’s being there in the waiting, in the details. It’s unwavering, unchanging, and undeserved.
My mom has always demonstrated this so well to me. Growing up I had friends who were pregnant, gay, black, conservative, Muslim, parents, pastors kids, drug dealers, etc. Everyone was welcome with a baked good from my mom and a bad joke from my dad. The way they treated people, the way they talked about them, was the same. They prayed for these kids and their families, invested in them. They opened up rooms and cooked meals more times than I could count. But they also offered wisdom, godly counsel, honest truth. They asked about backgrounds, religious ideology, family, future, not because the right answers were required to earn their love or care, but because they already had it.
It’s something I still take for granted, and honestly probably always will. I grew up with a clear understanding of Christ’s love because it was demonstrated effortlessly and taught well. But that is the way Christ loves us. He met with the people society had deemed unworthy. He ate with him. He talked with them. He loved on them. He didn’t care about their past, their skin color, their gender identity, he cared about their heart. He didn’t have to embrace their sin to embrace them.
He is a good god. He cares for us, on an individual and personal level, regardless. If we claim to be Christ-like, then we too have to love people this way. Without conditions, without expectations, without hesitation. I’m not always sure of how I am supposed to model Christ in this world. I don’t know if He’d be marching to tear down statues or fighting for everyone’s right to get married. I certainly don’t know who he’d vote for, and I won’t claim to. But I am sure of this: He loves you. He is love. So that is what I’ll act on. I will choose to love you, too.