For a long time, the lock screen on my phone was set to be an alpaca photobomb. I thought it was cute. And it made me smile whenever I picked up my phone. We all need more cuteness and smiles in our lives.
“love each other deeply.” -1 peter 9:8
So I said bye-bye to the alpaca and hello to love.
Little did I know.
The original purpose of this post was truly to talk about my lock screen. I have no agenda. I take no sides. After all, I’ve said it before: my heart is too soft for sides.
But as I sit here–my heart yearning to speak of love–my flesh is torn to pieces. Love has become a battlecry. A fight word.
And I can’t even write about it without wondering what people will think. How my words might be interpreted. Whether I will offend anyone. Or if my message will even be heard at all. Above all the yelling, how could it be?
One of the top trending social media hashtags these days is this:
I’d like to ask you a question. Actually, I’m going to ask you 2. And you might not like the resulting conclusion.
- If you were to see this hashtag 2 months ago, what would your reaction be? Got it? Ok. Next.
- What is your reaction to this hashtag today?
I’m betting you just gave me 2 different answers. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on.
I’m not going to tell you how you feel. I’m not going to criticize or judge. I’m just going to put words to what’s been on my mind. And I don’t really care what you think about me.
It makes me angry that there is so much tension surrounding the use of the word LOVE. Of all words?!?! LOVE.
Love should ALWAYS WIN!!!
Opinions around this issue are electrified. Few people are going to change their minds. I can practically guarantee it. And, in my opinion, you’re entitled to yours. That’s one of the great things about this nation. We are each entitled to our own opinions and our right to express them. But disagreement does not have to breed conflict. Most people will argue with me, but I don’t see this as a fight.
The dictionary defines love in this way: an intense feeling of deep affection.
It really is as simple as that.
But instead, we use it as a weapon. A topic of debate. A sensitive issue. We attack it or we avoid it. Rarely is it truly embraced. And despite the proclamation that #lovewins…our understanding of the word has brought division instead of unity. A word that should bring goosebumps and giggles is now laced with heat and tension and apprehension and fear and doubt and scrutiny.
Someone recently called me a runner. Twice. The first time, it was used as a weapon. They told me I’m always running from things. That I’m afraid to stay and fight for love. They said it to hurt me. And it worked. The second time, it was uttered in gratitude. They were glad I was a runner so that I would chase them down.
By its very nature, love is intense. It can be exciting, captivating, consuming, enthusiastic, cheerful, gracious, terrifying, suspenseful, arousing, passionate, devastating, and thrilling. Just to name a few.
Growing up, we’re sometimes told that love makes us do crazy things. And it’s true. Sometimes we do act irrationally in the name of love. Which is why I’m not up in arms about this most recent sociopolitical issue. Who am I to say whether or not your words and actions are born of irrational love or hate? That’s one call I’m definitely not making.
By now you may be wondering what my point is. And truth be told, so am I. I am not a politician. I am not a biblical scholar. I am ignorant and uninformed. Today I take no stand. I make no argument. I rest no case.
I only say one thing: We are called to love each other deeply. LOVE SHOULD ALWAYS WIN.