You and I have a call. We do not always realize “it”, at times we fight “it”, and as we talk about it many are confused by “it”. The call is, I believe, a call to love.
It is crucial that we define our terms, describe the actions that occur when we take up the call, and understand the span and depth of those involved. Without this we are consigned to talking about something that is often unrelated to the “real” thing, acting in a way that is self serving, and justifying acts of violence directed towards each other. The details are as follows.
Everyone that our lives touch in anyway is involved. This includes people we call family, those we interact with on a regular basis, the people we meet once in our lifetimes, and the extended ripple of those who are touched by those who are touched by those who touch us. The best metaphor to describe this is that the dimensions of our call reaches out to the far extension of the ripples of people impacted, touched, or affected by the choices and actions that I take. No one is excluded.
“Love” is both proactive and reactive. Examples include the interaction between a mother and a new born child, a husband and wife in “love”, and the willing sacrifice of one friend for another. It also include the process of standing up for what is wrong, calling injustice by its true name, confronting bigotry and exploitation when it occurs, and dealing with the demon god known to many of us as “self”. The latter is one of the most insidious threats yet it is something that we often ignore or hope will just “go away.”
In this context, every decision I take, every choice that I make, and every value I pursue comes with a call to love. Love all. Love deeply. Love until it hurts beyond hurting. Love until you bleed. God did and does.
“A refusal to correct is a refusal to love; love your children by disciplining them.” (Proverbs 13.23)