Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Choose Love

Grief is love.  And love?  Well, sometimes, it's a little bit of grief.

And a lot of grace.

In tough times, and in dramatic soap opera fashion, it's easy to say we will never love again.  In the grips of heartache, it's easy to cry out, "Love?  What is love?  Where is love in a time like this?"

Love in a time like this is...barely on our radar.  It doesn't seem appropriate to answer loss with love.  It doesn't seem honorable.  It seems oblivious, like we don't know what's going on or can't see what's happening here.  It seems arrogant, like we aren't touched by our loss.  It seems like a betrayal, like how could we go on living, let alone loving, when there's so much pain.

In teary eyes and tortured heart, love is a whisper drowned out by the screams of pain, anger, confusion, loneliness, demandingness, and exhaustion. It's easier to hurt, yell, wander, retreat, fight, or lie down than it is to love.

Love, on its surface, doesn't make much sense here.

Our wounded hearts can drag us down a ragged road if we let them, because we're not a people prone to love.  Not in the tough moments.  We're just not.  (We should be.  We're not.)  But that's why we have to choose love.  Because if we don't, we'll never get there.  We have to choose love and bring our hearts on the journey.

Choosing love is choosing the whisper.  It is quieting our instinct that is to scream and searching for something better.

Choosing love is choosing to stand.  It seems proud that love would choose to stand, but love is not proud.  It's not concerned with appearances.  Love stands, but acknowledges that if I stumble, then I stumble.  If I fall, I fall.  Love reclaims this moment and says, "This is a moment...and this is a life...that refuses to bend.  That refuses to us pain as a crutch.  That will not find some steadiness or stability in misery.  That will always choose love."

Love does not defy circumstance.  Love embraces it.  It doesn't refuse to be touched by heartache; it refuses to be taken hostage.  Love chooses to be transformed...on its own terms.  Love chooses the task of weaving loss into life, of stitching together the torn places with the threads of what once was and will never be (in the same way) again.  Love chooses to culture something deeper in the void.

That is why we choose love. 

It isn't easy.  Choosing love is painful.  It is heartache.  We know this pain is love...so choosing love is an invitation to the pain.

This is where grace comes in.  Grace to let ourselves stumble here and there.  Grace to fall.  Grace to let our tears streak our faces.  Grace to forgive ourselves if our mascara runs or if one box of tissues just isn't enough.  Grace to feel every bit of our pain, every bit of our loss, and not be embarrassed by being people affected.  People who feel.  People who grieve.

People who love.

People whose present heartache is caused solely by our willingness to have loved in the first place.  And people who choose love again in the face of grief because love...is worth every bit of it.

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