how do we love?

It is not love in the abstract that counts. We have loved the workers, the poor, the oppressed, but we have not loved “personally.” It is hard to love. It is the hardest thing in the world, naturally speaking. Have you ever read Tolstoy’s Resurrection? He tells of political prisoners in a long prison train, enduring chains and persecution for the love of their brothers, ignoring those same brothers on the long trek to Siberia. It is never the brothers right next to us, but the brothers in the abstract that are easy to love.

Dorothy Day

There is a thing that needs to be done in the family, not a pleasant thing. A raw, horrific thing, but needed. I had delegated the chore to another family member when I read this quote from Dorothy Day. Maybe I love my family in the abstract because the up close need is too much for me.

How am I called to love? I am called into a loving relationship with God, family, friends, neighbours, community, country, world. In fact I am not called to love in the abstract at all. I am called to the love that grazes knees, love that hurts, that can bruise, that could kill me. Self-sacrificing love. Love like Jesus. That is what I am called to.

So am I falling short by not performing the needed task? Well like most of these “should I, shouldn’t” I conversations in my head there is the “me” doing it and then there is “another” doing the task. Someone sent me a devotion yesterday which implied I did not have to be the one that did everything. There is a grace clause in my love relationships and that grace has placed an equally yoked person in my area who can also do the chore.

But it is a nasty chore. Am I picking and choosing? Possibly but then again last week had some horrific chores and I did them all. Love requires putting aside selfish ambition, pride, doubt, and any other obstacle that stands in the way of unleashing its powerful force into any situation.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love

Ephesians 4:2