I found this recently and have found myself returning to it often.
At first glance I loved it, nodded in agreement and wondered how any person of faith could disagree with it.
And then I got thinking…..
What does it mean to Love thy neighbor?
I know it is not just about agreeing to love thy neighbor.
I began to wonder where my actions or lack of action has loved or not loved so well.
I began to consider where I have chosen judgement over love, comfort zones over love or silence over love.
I can also think of times where I have loved well. Because I have experienced both, I know the difference. I would guess many of you know the difference as well. Living honestly in this space can be difficult. So often I believe we rationalize our own choices with lies we try to believe ( I don’t have time, I don’t have energy, I don’t know anyone in need…)
Perhaps you say you don’t really know any addicts, atheists or homeless people. I wonder if you know anyone with dementia, depression, financial need, lonely, single parents. Do you have a neighbor? Have you reached out to the new family at school? Are you willing to risk inviting someone you know nothing about?
I do not believe we are called to love only people on a list, I believe we are called to love all people. I believe the invitation to love may sometimes present on our path. I also know the invitation to love may require us to move into new spaces and relationships.
I believe the words in this simple piece of clipart are simply a reminder for us to love all people.
Who will you encounter today that needs some of your love?
When will you need to make a choice today to love or to walk away?
Where will you be when you choose to engage someone you know you have resisted loving?
It is my hope that as we move into loving people well, we will set aside judgement, embrace vulnerability and remember that love changes people. May I bring positive change and be changed through the kind act of LOVE