#LoveIsTheAnswer #WeAreAllJustWalkingEachOtherHome #LoveItForward #LiveLikeThat #DoThatThing #BeLove
I have some fairly strong opinions about love. They are informed by many and varied sources, but by two primarily: the experiences of my entire life up until now – all 19,668 days and by my long-held, yet ever-growing, beliefs in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
My personal beliefs are summed up by one of my mottos that I share with others pretty frequently:
“Love is the answer. The question is irrelevant. Love is always the answer.”1
I also believe that love is never too late. That it is as important as food, water, and oxygen in sustaining human life. And that it is best experienced as a verb.
These things I know for sure.
But while my beliefs and my life’s experiences are fallible and subject to my continued growth and learning, the teachings of Jesus Christ are, for me, infallible and matchless. And as far as I understand them, Jesus taught that love is supreme. Simply supreme.
When asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law,” Jesus responded:2
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Further, near the end of Jesus’ mortal life, He instructed His disciples:3
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
And in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught:4
“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
So, for me, it is pretty clear. Love is the answer. Love God. Love our neighbors. Love one another. Even love our enemies.
At home and in the workplace. On Monday through Friday – just like on Sunday.
And what is equally clear to me, what my spirit cries out to me with great urgency and solemnity, is that the time to love is now. If ever there was a season wherein we needed to follow the Master – in word and in deed – and love, it is now.
Hearts are broken, breaking, and failing. Relationships are fragile, wanting, and dying. Civility is in decline. Mutual understanding is lacking and running a distant last-place to being heard. Respect is experiencing an unacceptable recession heretofore unknown. Loyalty and long-suffering seem to be on extended holiday. Patience has become a stranger. And the impact and aftermath of acrimony, selfishness, and pride are exacting a painful, devastating, and expensive toll. One being paid by individuals, families, communities, congregations, organizations, societies, and nations.
The anecdote, the answer, is love. It is time to love. And listen. And lift. And then to love some more. To dig deep. To extend ourselves and expand our offerings. To see beyond ourselves and our limited beliefs and prejudices. To plead with God to see and love others as He does. For an increased capacity to love. For patience, tolerance, and compassion to be the gifts that we share with others. For His will to be revealed and done – through us.
Through our words. Our acts. Our hands. Out hearts. Our love.
I know that the foregoing is my prayer. And I know that the time is now. That the opportunity – and the responsibility – is mine. And that even in my brokenness; in my imperfection; and in my present state of learning, progress, and pain; I can love.
Love BIG. Love bravely. Love boldly.
My God. My neighbors. One another. And my enemies.
At home, in the workplace, and in the marketplace.
I invite you to join me as I follow Him and recommit to being love.
Believe Bravely; Dare Greatly; Love Boldly,
Chaplain Jay W. Taylor, J.D.
1 Jay W. Taylor, J.D.
2 Matthew 22:36-39 KJV
3 John 13:34-35 KJV
4 Matthew 5:44 KJV