When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love.
I have been lifting weights for over two years at the Longmont Recreation Center. I go on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on my better weeks and I’ve developed some good friendships. We have our proverbial water cooler chats over weight benches and dumbbells. Some days we’re up, other days we’re down. The bank of television sets spouting news from ESPN to NBC grab our attention as we roll our eyes or pump our fists depending upon the day. When our current president was inaugurated I did my first two pull ups in thirty-plus years. And depending on life and the morning drive tuned to NPR, some of us do better than others.
This week on Monday we discussed the pending midterm elections. I wondered aloud how the mood would shift on Wednesday depending upon the results. My wise friend Eric looked at me and said, “Does it matter? Does our job change? What is this all about anyways?”
“Love,” I said
Apparently I got the answer right because he stopped peppering me with questions while boring holes into my soul.
The last thing I want to do is minimize the impact our current administration has had upon our American fabric. The white nationalism, the fear in the eyes of my friends of color, the terrible concern of my LGBTQ friends, the weeping of the mothers for their daughters – none of this is acceptable nor is it welcome in a country that claims Christianity as its bedrock. This administration is terrible for the vulnerable among us.
But we’ve learned something haven’t we? If truth sets us free, we are closer to freedom. The truth of our national reality is harsh but we can no longer claim ignorance.
And so, on this Wednesday, the day after the midterm elections, our work remains. We can never – we must never – forget the most powerful word that is ours: Love.
Is love the easiest thing you’ll ever do? Yes.
Is love the hardest thing you’ll ever do? Yes.
Love is not linear, nor is it sensical. Love is subversive and obvious, clear and nebulous, tender and fierce, honest and discerning.
Many believe that resorting to love is giving up. I contend, resorting to love is the best choice all the way around.
Love demands we discover a third way. Love demands an obvious creativity, imagining new ways to be generous and compassionate. Love asks that we look outside ourselves for answers.
The way of love is the way of the Spirit. She is tough to pin down, ebbing and flowing with the tide of hope and truth and surrender. She shows up when you least expect it, but you have to be open for her, ready to receive her inspiration.
This Spirit-filled love is fire, consuming the hate and confusion and snarky judgement. The Spirit-filled love knows. She discerns. She will not waste her precious energies and resources on an unreceptive host. She will not cast pearls to pigs. She is efficient and industrious, flowing in and through, around and beyond.
The Spirit-filled love is justice. She knows the first are last, the big are small, and the oppressed are the righteous. She knows the powerful will be brought low and the hungry will be filled to overflowing. She knows the confident will be rendered afraid, and the afraid will know they are secure in Her arms.
She fills us with Her fire. As we freely give we will freely receive. Her generosity is abundant, limitless. Our souls will be filled, passing the gift on and on and on. There is not a mountain high enough or valley low enough where she will not find the hungry, lonely, frightened.
I want to know this love. I want Her to fill me with Her fire. I want to receive Her love and I want Her love to flow through me to you and to you and to you and to you.
Today we woke up to the results. And true to form while lifting dumbbells some of us were up and some of us were down. But what flowed in our recreation center space was the re-creation of beauty, the re-creation of hope, the re-creation of working it out, the re-creation of love.
The Spirit’s love flows beyond elections and this nation and this world. She will not be contained and as we speak she bubbles up from the ground. And if you can still yourself long enough you might hear her whisper. I love you.
May we listen.