Why it’s hard to love

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
It’s hard to love someone really,
especially the annoying, the arrogant, the cruel,
because I want to be separate from them.
I don’t want to be one with them,
soiled by their sin, associated with their dirt.
I want to push their boat off in a good direction
but not be in their boat.
But to love someone
is to cease judging the cruel as more cruel than I.
To love someone is to go to heaven or hell with them,
to put my arm around them and go together.
To lay aside my private little self
and be part of our divine oneness.

God leaves the perfect halls of heaven
to be one of us, to be us,
mucked in our grime, weak as the weakest of us,
blamed with our worst, frail, faulty and failed.
It’s not the gracious, condescending gesture
to the needy that makes it love;
it’s the absence of distance, the common wound,
it’s the arm around one, walking the way with one,
the resurrecting grace of giving your whole self away,
changing someone’s life by giving them yours.
It’s hard to love really because you have to die.
You disappear. You stop being separate,
stop being a little “one” so far from the “other,”
and be One. Less than that is zero.

But it’s easy to love, really,
when finally in our failure we give up
and throw away our pretensions of virtue,
and dump out the cardboard box
of our our whole useless heart and all its little pieces,
and, becoming so emptied… wait,
and God fills us with God’s only love
that flows through us without our having to bother
with the work of getting in its way.

It’s hard to love really,
until we empty out
and shine.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

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