Good morning everyone! I hope you are off to a great Friday, in preparation for your weekend! I am headed to an appointment with my PCP this morning, so I ask for your love and prayers, that we can get my pain managed. I am about to literally go out of my fucking mind in all of this pain. Post op with my surgeon is Wednesday morning. That’s all I’ve got right now, which will hopefully be enough to resolve this.
I know a lot of you are struggling with something also. I send you all of my love and prayers. I believe that we have the power to lift one another up. We have the means to lighten someone else’s load, even just a little bit, don’t we? We have the resources to find ways to help others. We must stand united or fall to pieces divided.
I find myself avoiding the news at all costs. I feel like every time I watch it, it’s all about who I don’t want to be. Every time I see the pain and the loss and the struggle and I watch Children being brutalized, I begin to feel helpless. Never hopeless, and seldom helpless, when I am though, I feel debilitated. I must be in action to do my work. My work is loving you and I sure do love you!
There will always be skeptics and may-sayers, who will tell me otherwise, and yet, the more I think about it, the more obvious and the more simple things become…I am love. My life’s work is love. My calling is to embrace, teach, model and accept love…to learn love and to love how I want to love and who I want to love. My calling, my work, my passion…spreading love to everyone. Sure, I would love to be an author and I will be. I am an artist. Those things are tools to spread my love. Once I simplified it…it became crystal clear to me…my work is love.
My view of and definition of and even my modeling of love has not always been loving. Being in love seemed reserved for romantic endeavors and lovers. Loving someone and saying so has always seemed to make people uncomfortable. How can you possibly love everyone? I don’t know. The more time that passes though, I love everyone more and more. I want people to know, more and more, that I love them. My dear friend shared a story with me, which I will paraphrase, which essentially said that you can love everyone with all of your heart!! I was SO fucking stoked the day I learned that! I thought that “All of my heart” could only really be used for one person. Another love delusion of my past. Being in love…what is being in love to you? So, as I sit here and look at my life, I have never loved wrong. I never loved the wrong people or wasted my love on them. Misguided does not invalidate all of the love I felt and tried to share. I am here simply because I never gave up on love.
My life’s calling is love. My work is love. Our Sanctuary is love. I hope that my love never made you feel uncomfortable. I mimicked what I saw and I did my best to make it beautiful and right and kind. I offered what I had, which was all of me at the time. I fell short. My love wasn’t always loving. I can promise you this though…the love was always in my heart for you. I don’t love my dogs in the same way that you love your dogs, do I? Does that mean that I love them less, because I don’t love them like you do? Does it mean that you love your dogs less if you do not love your dogs like I love mine? I think not. Truly, love is not really right or wrong. My expression of love and your expression of love may not be the same, and isn’t that fucking wonderful? Truly, love is infinite and loves potential is limitless. Diversity in love, as in life, makes the experience all the richer; don’t you agree?
So, if I tell you that I love you, I fucking mean it. I am really in a place of modeling love more than I speak love. Love is an action word and a verb. Love is action. Dr King speaks about this in a way that makes sense to me.
I took this excerpt from an article by Ruth Haley Barton, titled The Soul of leadership: Part 3 Love in Action
Where the Real Action Is
As it turns out, love is where the real action is, spiritually speaking. Love in action is doing what God calls us to do when he calls us to do it—no matter how afraid we are or how ill-equipped we feel. It is the willingness to move beyond being concerned primarily for our own safety and survival to the confidence that comes from knowing that our real life is hidden with Christ in God no matter what happens to our physical life.
Love in action is doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right Spirit, completely given over to a Power that is beyond our own—even, and perhaps most especially, when the risks are very great. This kind of action is impossible without being radically in touch with that perfect love which casts out fear. Such risky action is impossible until we stop hesitating and give in to the authority of an invisible God.[iii]
Real action is not about the absence of fear; it is the courage to look fear in face and master it through love. Dr. King (by his own admission) was often very much afraid but he chose courage which he defined as “the power of life to affirm itself in spite of life’s ambiguities. This requires the exercise of a creative will that enables us to hew out a stone of hope from a mountain of despair.”[iv]
This kind of love-directed action is not about our natural preferences. As King once said, “I don’t march because I like it. I march because I must.” It is not about our own personal safety; after King went public with his convictions, he was never safe again from a human point of view. It is not about what seems humanly possible. It is about saying yes to the God with whom all things are possible and doing whatever we do in union with God. “Neither God nor man will individually bring the world’s salvation. Rather, both man and God, made one in a marvelous unity of purpose through an overflowing love as the free gift of Himself on the part of God and by perfect obedience and receptivityon the part of man, can transform the old into the new.”[v]
Love worth Celebrating
Dr. King’s commitment to the moral ethic of love enabled him to envision and articulate a way forward that involved meeting violence and oppression with nonviolent resistance, combatting real fear with profound courage, and confronting social evil with soul force. This love is not to be confused with sentimental slop; it is creative, redemptive goodwill toward all people—including (and perhaps most especially) one’s enemies. In the depths of his being he knew that “returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”[vi]
And so he chose the way of love—love in action—and that made all the difference.
I love you and I hope you have a beautiful Friday! My challenge to each of us is to be love in action. Love with all you’ve got and share it with everyone! Love deeply and enjoy the swim. Love openly and be amazed at the love that comes back. Let’s go do some loving, shall we?
In closing, I ask again, that you send all of your love to my little friend Aiden this morning. Aiden, we are all surrounding you with love and healing light. I love you Aiden!