The call to love is not for Pansies — It’s the hardest job I do.
Sometimes I want to tell people exactly what I feel without care for their feelings. Sometimes I want to be a truth-teller that is uncensored. Sometimes I want to speak bluntly about whatever opinion I have without care of choosing the exact wording that will be best received on the listener’s ears. Sometimes I’ve got a wicked temper and sometimes I say things in that moment that really don’t help humanity. Ok, who am I kidding, a lot of times I do this.
So what’s the big deal about this? You’re a feminist, Jes. You’re an activist. You understand your role as minister as one that helps ignite people to care about difficult topics through the lens of the Gospel. You speak up when others don’t. Acting up is good! Well yes, acting up can be a good thing. Just ask Rev. Dr. King, Rosa Parks, Dorothy Day, or Clarence Jordan – all people who have acted up because they believed a better world was possible. The thing about acting up, speaking up, and living proud is that as a Christian all of this – all of life – has to be lived in the container of love. Love wins is not as easy as some think. Loving God and loving others is not for the faint hearted. If I’m honest (which I usually strive to be) then let me confess that loving God and loving others is difficult to do especially in light of people I perceive that don’t care about justice & equality.
The task for any justice minded person is to marry our pursuit for equality with mercy. God is a God of justice, without a doubt yes! But God is a God of mercy and compassion, abounding in steadfast love. That is the flavor of my call – the marriage of mercy and justice.
Rabbi Abraham Heschel says it this way, “A religious person is a person who holds God and man in one thought, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.”
The greatest strength of a Christian is love. Love is the soil which truth is spoken from. Love is the container for activism. Love is the beat to my feminism. Love is the most difficult thing to consistently do/be. Loving God and loving others is the greatest commandment that Jesus requires of us.
There is only One who loves consistently, beautifully, and mercifully and that is not me. God is love and moves and breathes in love. Through the Holy Spirit, love is the source I want to live from.
Loving others is not for pansies. Thank God we are freely connected to the one who is love and has shown us love. We are never blocked from the source of love in Jesus.