this is love.

I think that sometimes as Christians, we forget to love. Sure, we know that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” But do we often really act on these things? On a purely theological level, we know what love is. It’s not selfish. It’s kind, gentle, and not self seeking. We know what it is. But do we truly love? Do we know what it means do love? If love is patient and kind, then why do we sometimes act out of our selfish desires? One thing anyone who knows me knows is that I am fiercely protective of those I love, almost to a fault. If anyone hurts or messes with someone I love deeply, there will be hell to pay and quite frankly, it won’t be all that pretty. But love. Love conquers all things, and love heals broken hearts. So why then, do we act out in hate? Why do we act out in anger, when that’s not what love is? I think sometimes (and I am not guiltless of this) that we try to cover up hurting other people by slapping on the name of love on it. We call other people out on their sins, saying that we’re doing it “in the name of love.” Yet what we’re looking for is an excuse to hurt, to tear down, to wound. If we mask it in the name of love, then we have justification for our actions, which may or may not be the right intent.

Now, I am not, not by any means, trying to say or imply that this is the heart of everyone who speaks out against something that doesn’t sit right with them. I think that there are times when people do have the right intent, and that there is a time to call people out in love. But, at time same time, I think we need to thoroughly explore our own heart. Are we just acting out in love, or are we trying to mime our own hurts?
As evident in my previous post, I adore TWLOHA. They speak out about love, and loving those who are hurting. To show them love, and give them hope.
How can we love and give hope, if we mask our own pain in the name of love and just use it as ammunition to further hurt people? We need to learn, in order to be “lovers bold in broken places” that love isn’t something just to be used as an excuse to hurt other people, but instead something used to edify and lift up.

love is the movement.

I went to a To Write Love On Her Arms event with my friends A&A. I got my usual godawful hiccups right in the middle and people everywhere were looking at me.

And the key message of TWLOHA on her arms is “You are not alone.” And I would like to repeat that to each of you. You are not alone. You are not alone. If you cut. If you’ve ever cradled the pills in your hand, daring yourself the courage to swallow. If you’ve ever had an eating disorder. If you’ve been abused. Your story is important, and you are not alone.
And the thing is – even if you don’t see hope now, I can assure you that you most likely will sometime in the future. I think that something we so often struggle with as hurting people is the fact we feel alone and no one else could understand our pain. And even though we all have our own unique stories we all share common elements of our unique stories. The one thing we need to learn (and I certainly need to learn myself) is that it is OK to be real and vulnerable with people. Part of the reason we often aren’t is we are afraid we still won’t be loved, but yet what we do not realize is that by not allowing ourselves to open up and show our hearts we aren’t allowing ourselves to be truly loved.
As Christians, we often like life to have a happy ending and be all neatly tied up with a bow. We want life to have a happy ending, but sometimes it doesn’t. And that is what makes our stories beautiful, unique, stirring, valuable, and important. I often don’t tell my story because it doesn’t fit with usual Christian wants and desires, and it doesn’t have a happy ending. In fact, it’s still tainted and laced with pain and it’s a mess. But the thing is until I tell it, until I let it be known, I cannot begin to heal. And until I allow people to walk with me in my pain, I cannot finally learn to break free.
Here she stands today,
in her brilliant shining way
stronger than her pain,
in her brilliant shining way
Fully alive, more than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive, and she knows
How to believe in future