It's been a crazy few weeks, friends.
I've experienced a lot of emotions, the most prevalent being grief. Steve can attest that I've read far too many blogs and articles and this weekend I legitimately cried because I felt so much pain for our world. I've loved too hard and now it hurts.
In church yesterday, one of our pastors encouraged us to do two things regardless of our political ideologies: love and pray.
Despite the pain of the past few weeks, we are called to love. Love no matter what. Love when it doesn't make sense. Love when it's the last thing you could comprehend doing. Love in the morning and in the evening. Love when your friend posts offensive comments. Love when it hurts. Love when it doesn't hurt. Love when people won't listen. Love when your views go unheard. Love anyway.
When my Grammy got sick I remember a heavy, creeping desire in my gut that told me to withdrawal. Pull away. Run away. Guard. Protect myself.
I remember having moments of wishing I hadn't loved this woman so much. I remember wishing I hadn't met her, spent so much time in her cozy living room drinking tea and eating whatever snacks she pulled from her cupboard. I couldn't bare the pain of losing her so I thought it'd be better if I hadn't loved her.
I'm learning now that love is risky. When you let yourself love, you are signing up for pain. It's not a debate. Real love hurts. You WILL experience disappointment and grief. Sorrow and conflict.
But despite the certain pain, love is worth it. If I'd never loved that 80 year old southern belle, I wouldn't be me. I wouldn't know to write thank you notes for every.single.thing. I wouldn't know that frozen is the best way to consume a Reese's cup. I wouldn't know that God wants us to pray for everything. No matter how ridiculous it sounds.
So in the midst of a time when people are hard to love (at least for me), I encourage you to put yourself out there and love anyway. Love the people that a hard to love. It'll certainly hurt, but who knows what beauty you'll experience when you take the leap and love anyway. Who knows how your life will change when you let yourself love in big radical over-the-top ways.