The greatest of these is love...
December 5th, 2017
What would it be like to live in a world motivated by love?
The United Church of Christ launched an initiative last year: 3 Great Loves. The “loves” are love of neighbors, of children, and of the earth. My first thought about this denomination-wide project was, “Yes,” complete with a fist pump. Love, with all its ramifications, is the single motivating force of United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM).
To be clear, when I talk about love, it is not the cloying, controlling, gushy feeling that sometimes passes for love in our world. This love encourages people to be themselves, to think for themselves, and to find their own answers to life’s big questions. It is a love that does not purport to have all the answers, but that helps those around us to identify the questions.
This love does not put the puzzle of life together; it just helps people to find all the pieces. This love, at its best, listens more than it talks. It does not negate people’s life experiences. It is as sensitive as it knows how to be to others’ emotional and cultural roots.
Love is not “one size fits all”. It is flexible, customizable, and malleable within the constraint of honesty. That is one of the drawbacks of what I am terming “real” love. It has few demands, but foremost among its qualities is honesty. Love is advocacy, so it “speaks truth to power”, and it speaks truth to and of our weaknesses.
Love is strong—stronger than death—and it is also vulnerable. Love overcomes. It perseveres. It sits with people and waits while hope revives.
Periodically over the next several months, we can communicate about love.
What qualities do you experience when you think of love that changes lives for the better? Please help to write this blog, by sharing your comments below.