This isn’t really going to be a post about Ebola, but the title was too perfect to not use.
What does it mean to love in this world today?
Really, when it comes down to it, this is the million dollar question for the church in this generation. How do we love, here, now, these people, like Jesus does and did and would?
Some people argue that what “the world” thinks love is isn’t real love- that real love doesn’t have to mean unconditional acceptance. I would have to agree: for a friend with a substance abuse problem, love does not look like accepting that as a part of their life for them, but getting them help. But when does love mean acceptance? And who decides?
Is love always to lay down your life for your friends? That seems like a recipe for getting trampled and bullied and overrun, but when do you decide that you’ve given enough and it’s time for someone else to lay down in the road?
Does love mean correcting misconceptions or letting everyone else think they’re right? How do we know what love is? How do we know if we’re giving love?
I don’t know, and I know a lot of smart and loving and thinking people who disagree on the answers to some of those questions. Today, I want to suggest this:
Love sits in the mess with you. Maybe sometimes it tries to fix it, maybe sometimes it plays in the mud, and maybe sometimes it just sits and says, “Yep. This is a mess.” But I am sure of this: Love always acknowledges the mess, and love always sits. Love never finds the mess too much to sit in, never pretends to not see the mess, never jumps valiantly over the mess and shouts back for you to do the same.
Love sits in the mess.
In this world, we will have messes (or something like that).
But take heart: Love sits with you in the mess.
You are not alone.
Photo by Geraint Rowland, via flickr.