“Love’s the only house big enough for all the pain in the world.” These are lyrics from a song by Martina McBride I have loved ever since it released, and the lyrics become truer and truer to me as my life experiences increase and I see how threatening love is to those who are dying—spiritually. We have people walking around physically alive but are completely void of spirit. It is wild people will tell Christian faith leaders who believe their faith makes a difference in public life, like nakedpastor, to stay in the spiritual realm. Ummm, Christians, we believe in a God who is both human and divine. When did one become more important than the other? Do you believe God became limited, by choice, just to reveal how rotten humanity is? It had nothing to do with love?
Love is not a feeling, by the way. Love is what we do. I love how Dr. Cornel West puts it: Justice is what love looks like in public, just like tenderness is what love feels like in private.”
I have experienced a fake niceness that masquerades as tenderness but turns brutal when there is talk of equality and equity. And, I have experienced the brutality of a person abusing a person I love through lies they have told themselves, and they called it justice.
Love is both justice and tenderness. Human and Divine. Both/and. Love cannot exist in either/or thinking, because either/or thinking cuts us off from a part of the story that also belongs. Love is nondual. There are no winners and losers when we are living in a state of love.
Isn’t it interesting those who believe our faith belongs only in the spiritual realm are also the ones who are devoid of spirit; the ones who believe there should be no social justice through laws because those are just spiritual problems (sin) and the next life will take care of it, are also the ones creating laws to control womens’ bodies, attempting to restrict who people love, and anyones’ body whose existence threatens their view of the world?
Things to think about.
I was talking to the love of my life, Jake Bruehl, last night about what it is I am trying to do with the message I am sharing now. Here is what I was able to articulate last night because he lets me process in a space of love:
- I am not trying to fix the past. The past is what it is.
- The past showed me something really important that is not just for me, though. It is a part of the larger picture of justice, and I know how to deliver this message in love (with tenderness—not with a thirst for brutal revenge).
- I have compassion for even the cruelest person in our situation because I know life must be miserable for the person acting like that. Love can absorb that pain. And we did.
Love threatens the status quo. Love has also been falsely named in situations of abuse. People have gotten hurt by a principality that masqueraded as love but it was really hate. This will make people question someone who is truly tender and kind. I get it. True tenderness and kindness are both unfamiliar and scary, because it makes us vulnerable when we take a leap and trust it after being violated. I get that too.
We, as a culture, got so used to what isn’t love and came to believe that is love. Trump revealed this to me—we will crucify the one who comes in the name of love and set Barabbas free. Barabbas is familiar, even though he is the one who actually is the most threatening and hateful.
I feel like I am at the point where I am experiencing a resurrection. I am still a Christian because these stories breathe life into me and keep me spiritually and physically alive. I keep believing in a new day after each major setback that has threatened my ability to believe I can keep going.
I think about the gospel of John where Jesus is resurrected and living a life full of joy returning to the people who loved him in return. He is not seeking out those who killed him, but those who love him. Where He is receiving both the tenderness and justice He really needs to feel. That is where I am right now too.
The story continues. Love is here. We are, in fact, learning to love all of God’s creation right now. It is painful, but true joy is on the other side. Love can hold this pain we are in. That is who I believe God is. That is the vision I am living into right now. It keeps my spirit alive and full of hope and love.
Love is the only house big enough for all the pain in the world. Love is deeply political because it does not discriminate.
My wound has now become a womb.
Happy Valentine’s Day, loves.
Love is the strongest force in the universe.