Monday, January 15, 2018

The Cost of Love

"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." Martin Luther King

We fool ourselves when we believe that truly great love for people and God is a smooth path. The refrain "All We Need is Love, Love, Love" is a despicable lie that leads to despair and worse unless that love is expressed in the willingness to sacrifice, suffer, struggle, be misunderstood, and even hated for the cause. And the cause is people. You cannot bring about justice without love, but it is not a weak, soft emotion. This love will require your death in one way or another. For Martin Luther King and others, it was physical death. It might be the death of some relationships, of your reputation with those who cannot/will not understand, certainly the death of your self-focus. It will require the death of validating responding in kind.

Jesus was the greatest example. We're always quoting scriptures about his love, but often forget what love required of him. Luke 9:51 tells us when he knew that nothing but disappointment, torture, and death awaited him in Jerusalem, he steadfastly set his face toward Jerusalem. His passion drove him to face it without whimpering, whining, withdrawing--or hating. He received the full measure of everything he knew awaited him, and died--with love on his lips and in his heart. The cause goes on.

In lesser fashion, because no one approaches Christ in the weight of the burden and cause, but humanly almost unimaginable, MLK loved fiercely, suffered, sacrificed, and struggled for justice. He knew he was in danger, he knew he was misunderstood and reviled, but he never bowed to fear or self-protection. He died at the hands of haters, with love on his lips.The cause goes on.

May I strive to fight for the justice and the things that matter to God with similar unrelenting will to sacrifice, struggle, suffer, and love fiercely. Easier said than done. God, help me to die to whatever stands in my way of love like this.

"The time is always right to do what is right." MLK

Thank you,  Dr. King.

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