There is special place called love.
Its shores extend forever. Its light covers all beings. God’s greatest name.
Tonight a dear friend Emily stopped by 1282. She was love. Her presence preceded the knowledge that I am well within the arms of love, safe and protected. It takes the presence of another to shine brighter, to feel grace and that was my experience this evening with Emily. She arrived at the house in perfect time. I was just entering a difficult conversation with a roommate about cleanliness issues. I forget that being right is rarely the answer when it comes to relationships among people, especially those we love. I was feeling under attack. I have been having this experience with increasing regularity over the past month. I am grateful that we’re agreed on transition, departures, change. “Love changes things” – the title of a gospel song the Glide Ensemble sings…
Less and less I am interested in fighting for my way, but there comes a time when position must be met and held. YES, I was saying that I was indeed grateful for an opportunity to discuss people leaving their dirty dishes in the sink. No, it is not ok to leave them for days! Gurr!! And Emily presence at the door rang. I don’t care to teach my roommates about my standards of kitchen manners. I was being attacked for having my shoes on… in another moment of defensive reaction we might have been into something – another opportunity for me to lay down my weapons that appeared without my consent, to let go, to love… BUT Grace was my sister and Emily’s presence turned the times toward gratitude, interest, other worlds. I had this strange feeling of being held, as if what I thought were my problems or my needs to defend myself were removed by the fluid circumstance of encounter, change, by the love for another. Emily felt like God’s presence of favor and of love. It was “as if” I did not need to defend myself. The truth that I am learning is that I never need to defend myself. The truth is that God defends me, saved me my own foolishness and was manifest through Emily’s presence. I have a faith in God that will forever remain weirdly foreign, strangely other.
Sam Mikey gave a wonderful talk last night on his scholastic work. His talk covered his dissertation outline of his recently conferred Doctorate degree. Toward the end of his talk he spoke of love. He described love as a non-coercive mutually transformative responsible contact. He said that love lets the beloved be the beloved. Different than the relationship one has with a cupcake where one consumes and desires to own the cupcake, dissolving it of agency, independence, priority, care. People aren’t cupcakes. Good. BUT, love is more than a series of exchanges, a calculus of emotional debt. It is active, creative. It makes demands because it is deeply relational. It is bound to service.
Love is incredibly powerful. If corporations are indeed people then we should let them be very young, immature people who are in a process of growing up. What does love offer a child? Does it punish? Condemn? Destroy? No. It fosters, nurtures, disciplines, cares, corrects; it lets the child be while at the same it becomes with…
We are a part of an age bound to the mind. Our mentality is supposedly capable of mastering all nature, building machines and databases able to reduce risk and predict the future for the sake of safety, comfort, and control. Love is definitely involved here so much so that our abilities to handle problems have grown into superpowers. Our minds have grown strong in practice and performance. Now is the time of the heart.
Love centered in the heart is not the same as love centered in the mind. Emily was telling me about her decision to see her twin nieces born on the East Coast. She had briefly debated about whether to spend the money to fly out, but found that thought silly. Of course she would be beside her sister during her children’s birth. I told her about my decision to buy a $600 dollar plane ticket to see my grandmother. At one point things became very clear. It was the moment I thought that I might not have another chance to see her. I wondered who I might look back and see if I knew that she had died during the period I was being prudent with my money. I followed this conversation with a reflection about the love I have for my father. I have all these dreams in San Francisco, but at some point they all fade when compared to my longing to spend a day with my dad.
This love is beyond the mind, it defies the minds ability to weigh a decision based on facts because it is guided by the heart, not the mind. Our whole world would change if instead of attempting to figure our way out of a problem, how to save money or finish a project, we would take a breath and follow our hearts home. Our people are so sick of comparing ourselves to those “better” than us, our competitions are driving us mad and running dry like our water.
The power of love has become a planetary necessity. Maybe, “All we need is Love!” oh… Paul. Perhaps love is not all we need, perhaps it is not sufficient to solve the ecological crisis, or the difficulties of history, but it is necessary nonetheless. We do not solve anything without it. We will not take another breath without it. Our plans will amount to nothing more than the dust constituting our DNA without love. Proliferate Love.
Faith, Hope, and Love these three are needed. But the greatest of these is love. Amen.