Love When It's Hard.

2013.01.24 Love When It's Hard
Have you ever looked back and realized in the midst of other overwhelming emotions, you forgot to love?
Today I read the intriguing essay, “Why I Hate Loving Mark Driscoll” by Christian Piatt over at Red Letter Christians today about his reactions and rebuttal to Mark Driscoll’s recent tweet about President Obama. As I read his article, much of what he wrote resonated quite strongly with how Mr. Driscoll’s comments made me feel, too. Then I got to the part where he wrote about the difficulty in loving Mark Driscoll and how some days it’s easier and some days, not so much. I know exactly what he means. In fact, I went back and re-read my post from this morning about my reaction and response to Dr. James Dobson’s comments on Sandy Hook Elementary and realized something:
In the midst of other overwhelming emotions, I forgot to love.
My sorrow, my frustration, my anger – it’s all right here. My love for the innocent lives taken and those mourning? I’m hopeful that’s obvious. But showing any love to Dr. Dobson? It alludes me. There is something to be said for affording someone, anyone, even Dr. Driscoll, the grace to be human. I didn’t do that in my post this morning. Yet Christian Piatt was able to offer it to Mark Driscoll today (or at least, speak to the wrestling he experiences in learning to love). It is a reminder for me when someone says something that leaves me astounded. In the swell of emotions that overtake, overwhelm me, and in being moved to respond, how is love a part of that response?
I think that’s a hard question. Must mean it’s probably a good one, too.

3 thoughts on “Love When It's Hard.”

  1. This is a difficult one Nate. Probably why Jesus mentions it at the Sermon on the Mount and also why the Apostle Paul says it in Romans 12. Think of the situation people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and others have seen. We maybe have not experienced the outright injustices and violence that Dr. King did, but we do still see issues of that nature taking place in society. I think there are things we are truly called to be angry about, such as issues of justice and peace. Yes, we still need to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44), but that does not preclude anger over issues of injustice and violence. For me, Driscoll and Dobson are just that. They are being unjust and violent (not just in these recent comments, but over an extended period of time). Even Jesus tossed the temple’s money changing tables (Matthew 21:12-17). I do believe Jesus was angry and I do believe he still loved the people in the temple. The transformation that we should hope in situations like this is the same transformation that Dr. King made… do not let your anger turn to violence or injustice, but don’t just love them and pretend everything will be ok. I love both of those individuals as Children of God, and I will do what I can to take nonviolent and peaceful means to speak out about the absurdities they claim about God in this world. Like Dr. King, I hope to purify myself and my motives in order to be in accordance to the gospel message of Jesus. Maybe, sometimes, direct action is necessary to confront the sinfulness of individuals in this world. But, yeah, lets do it in the name of Love (1 John 4).

  2. I resonate with a lot of that, Matt. I think you’re on to something when you write that offering love doesn’t mean pretending everything is okay. That’s a good way to steamroll one’s own emotions, let alone be complacent (or even complicit) in the face of injustice.


Leave a Comment