These weeks in Tanzania and Kenya, my eyes and ears have been overwhelmed by many things:
Children who walk miles to school without shoes.
Children without access to clean water in their community.
Children who grow up without parents.
Leaders who take advantage of their people, ignoring the needs of their children.
Knowing that God’s heart aches for justice.
It’s so easy in experiences like this to become angry, to blame, and to disengage.
It’s not that there isn’t a time a place for righteous anger, a time to stand up for what is evil . . . even Jesus modeled this for us when he turned over the tables in the temple, when the rebuked the overly righteous and welcomed the untouchable.
But so often we stay in this place. We exchange hate for hate. Hurt for hurt. Rejection for rejection.
This has often been me.
But, this week through lessons from a dear teacher, I’ve learned again that love is the only way.
We move forward in love because as Christians it is the life that God has called us to, and nothing else.
This is not to say that love doesn’t have boundaries.
This is not to say that love doesn’t have cost.
And most certainly it doesn’t mean that love doesn’t hurt.
But we love anyway.
We love those who see the world in hues different from us.
We love those whose actions we deem disgraceful.
We love those whose belief systems clash against our values.
We just love.
Why? Because it is how Christ shines through us.
And though we feel vulnerable and though we may feel crazy (I mean, who really loves their enemies?), we just love.
I’ve been challenged by the words of Brene Brown recently who writes in her book, Daring Greatly: “Vulnerability is the birthplace of love . . . If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”
Vulnerability is the open door in which love has the ability to walk through.
And in vulnerability, we walk with others just as we are, even if loving is difficult for us.
We walk with others with an open heart, ready to receive whatever gifts come our way.
We walk with others not taking ourselves too seriously, remembering the One is in control most of all.
Not to sound overly clique but my word for this week is love is the only way. If you want to know the way forward in your life, start here.