Been thinking about Love this week. I’ve been thinking about all the shouting and screaming going on about hatred, discrimination and retaliation and that’s made me consider Love.
In the midst of all the cannon fodder, the people who are used as target practice by those shouting the battle commands from both sides, we may recognize Love as a casualty, lying there in the field and bleeding seriously. Right now the battle has moved beyond acceptance and rights and into the determination of normal. And it is not about seeking normal even, really. It is about accepting one point of view as normal. It is about making one opinion mean normal.
Deciding what’s normal is different from loving. When I come to the command of Jesus, “Do not judge,” then I stop and think, Christians were never commanded to decide what is normal. They were never told to stop people from doing what wasn’t beneficial or from what might master them. They might warn them or try to talk with them, but they were commanded to love.
There is a united force explaining what normal looks like. It all makes me worry that loving the one who is different doesn’t matter. I think I was commanded to love the one in front of me, no matter what they brought, who they were or how they acted. If they didn’t want love, or walked away from it, or beat me to a pulp and hung me on a cross for it… that was supposed to be okay, if love was expressed. What was done to me was not going to change the strength, course or truth of love. In fact the harm done to me might express that love even more.
It seems appropriate this week to look at Love as a new casualty once again, this beaten and brutalized person who never met a homosexual, never spoke with a prostitute, never touched a leper… who only knew human beings. This one who knew that deciding what was “normal” wasn’t the point.