30 September 2011

Love Lends its Hands

It surprises me how often people shout "love is the answer" while their hands are on someone's throat. People who value the value of love often hate it when someone does not always measure up to their standard of love. So what do they do to fix the problem? Through love right? No! Usually self-appointed masters-of-all-that-is-loving take aggressive measures to kill whatever they see that is not loving. Using strong, loud words, aggressive hand-gestures, or provocative writing, self-appointed love-worriers often choose to sleigh anything that is not perfect love rather than bring it into love. Yes, the motives are right, but motives are, as it turns out, a poor substitute for doing the right thing. It comes down to doing the right thing verses wanting to do the right thing.
 So the problem is, not everyone is clear what love is. It is not necessarily their fault. It is difficult to think and do things that are foreign or even unknown. Well, that is a problem that can be fixed.

Love is not pointing at people, and correcting them harshly. Love is not arrogant, and love is certainly not knocking the wrong out of someone, (even though I sometimes want to). On the contrary, love is a gentile, respectful, considerate, and always a sincere effort to help someone. Masquerading in a costume of love and punishing people who need help does not help anyone. It makes love look bad. Despite what we may infer from cupid shooting people with arrows who need to find love, his tactic is frankly not the best example. Being unloving while waving the love banner shouts not that love is the pinnacle of perfection of human hope, but instead condemns love. Why would anyone wish to be loving when it hurts so much when people are "loving" to them.

If love is truly the goal, than it means going even beyond knowing what love is, it means taking action on that knowing. It means being loving when the sake of your dignity beckons revenge or war. If you happen to have a Star Trek phasser, it may mean setting it to stun or even better turning it off. Love does not need defending, it needs living, it needs breathing. Love is not a sparkly clean perfect place where everything is the way it was intended. Love is everything that it takes to bring people to that perfect place. Love is the bridge that we need to build to get to where we should be.  Love is a pair of work-pants. It's putting on muck-boots and trekking through a swamp to find people who need help. Love is not a level of knowledge or understanding. Love is getting down on your hands and knees in the dirt with people who need help and teaching them in the kindest way possible how to stand up and leave it all behind. Love is helping people up, not bending down so you can see the pain on their face when you rub their nose in the mess that is their life.

Love is not pointing fingers, it's lending hands. If you are one of those people who try to hate the love out of people. I hope that this note is a hand held out to you to help you stand up out of the mud. I want to encourage you to stand a little taller, by stooping down a little lower to help those who are even lower. I'm not saying that I have everything figured out. I don't. I'm not perfect either. And I am not writing because I want to make you guilty. Your guilt is irrelevant to me. We are guilty in some way for something, only love can forget that guilt. But you are not irrelevant to me, and what you do is not irrelevant to those who need help, who need love. We all need love, but the only way we will ever get that love is if we start giving it.

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