Love is not reserved for any special interest group, religion, or community. Love is for everyone, no matter what you believe in, no matter who you are. The word “love” has immeasurable definitions, as it means something different to each of us. Whoever we are and wherever we are.
I am member of a Christian Life Studies group. We meet every Thursday morning during the academic year. We are studying Luke now. Our fearless leader, Sharon, is truly a shining, gentle light , blanketing the rest of us in peace, love, and wisdom before, after, and during that special 45 minutes each week. The other women in this group are engaging, interesting, smart and special to me. As of late, I’ve been a slacker regarding my studies. I show up anyway. Yesterday, while thumbing through my information, I was staggered by what I read. Several sentences from this guide, edited by Leon Taylor and published by Life Publishing Company, jumped off the pages.
“The arithmetic of love is strange, love is not diminished by being given away.” I’ve never put love and arithmetic in the same sentence or even the same thought process. Am still pondering this concept, but I believe that it’s about focusing on the giving, period. No thought of getting anything from the use of love as a verb. Just putting it out there because. Because we all need it, because it so powerful we can’t begin to grasp the ripple effect it contains, because love has the ability to transform us. So we actively love as many as we can, deleting the mental reciprocity notches. Loving others isn’t an equal opportunity process; throw out the scales. Just do it. Per the guide, “…love knows the value of one.”
I am mathematically challenged. There are people I don’t love, people I don’t even like. I struggle with the concept above even though I know it’s the right path for me to take. A repeat offender in the petty grievance division. I read, from the same guide, “Delusion is no respecter of persons … In their delusion, they (people) often defend the indefensible with a contemptible attitude that exalts self and maligns those who threaten them.” Uh, okay. Taking that personally. I have to work to flush the mind garbage blocking anything that even resembles love. Don’t have to cozy up to people who bug me but do need to replace negative reactions with something different. Maybe it’s hoping/praying for their well-being. Perhaps it’s giving them a hall pass because everyone has bad days, weeks, years. And I, more than anyone, am prone to bad behavior towards others. Hate when that happens.
My plan of action is to love the unlovable – at a distance. Put hopeful thoughts for them out there. Catch,release. Keep my trap shut. Freedom. A softer heart. Passing out, not on, love.
It’s been said many times that “mercy is not getting what you deserve and grace is getting what you don’t deserve.”
Love + Mercy + Grace + Forgiveness = Whatever! Has to be good.
I like that equation. Maybe I even love it.