Love is Easy
Relationships are hard and people are frustrating, but love is easy.
Trust is scary and faith is a gamble, but love is easy.
Forgiveness is humbling and grace is unfair, but love is easy.
I needed to be reminded of these things today because it seems like the bad week has stretched into two weeks, and it’s exhausting and it would just be so much easier if I could decide that love is harder than I can handle. Because if it’s harder than I can handle, then it’s easier to give myself a pass.
This past week, my five-year-old nephew, Elijah, made it into the local newspaper. That morning, he had declared himself to be a secret superhero named “Lava” and went to school in plaid shorts and a brightly colored striped shirt and brightly colored gym shoes. Why? Because he loves superheroes and (at least that morning), he loved those clothes. That’s not why he was in the newspaper, though. He was photographed with another kindergartner as they walked through a school fair with their arms around each other’s shoulders. When my sister asked him who the other kid was, he said it was his friend from another class. He couldn’t tell her his name, though. He just knew that they were friends.
I wish I could love like he does. I’m supposed to love like he does.
Elijah is really too young and has had a thankfully privileged enough life to not hesitate to love the things and the people around him. He’s still five, and has all the stubbornness that comes with being five, but he hasn’t yet learned to be distrustful, resentful, or skeptical.
It has felt very hard to love some people lately, especially people who have hurt my friends. I’m very protective of my tribe and when they are hurt, I want vengeance. There have been a lot of moments lately when I’ve prayed “but do you know how hard it is to love the people hurting my friends?”
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” from Matthew 11; NIV
Love is the burden we’re to carry. There are a lot of learned lessons that become obstacles in carrying that burden. We get hurt and we hurt others. We mistake hardness for wisdom. Somewhere along the way, we get this mixed up idea that we get to hold off on loving people.
But over and over, I am taught another lesson: loving people, as reckless as it may seem, as often as it requires that I practice the things I listed at the beginning of my blog, is a far better use of my time, gives me a deeper peace, and partly satisfies the desire for holiness. Some day, I hope I’ll remember this lesson instead of the other ones. I want to be like Elijah, who, like that one Jesus guy, is OK with loving just because the person is there for me to love.
Posted on October 7, 2014, in Church, Friendship, Woman Preacher and tagged Bad Days, church, forgiveness, Gospel, Grace, Kids, Love, minister, Ministry, Others, Purpose. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.