Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Letter to the Unlovable

To you who just aren’t easy to love (you may or may not know who you are):

You are the difficult one of the group and this seems to be your natural state. You like to argue often. When there’s nothing to argue about you will masterfully create friction. You are moody, temperamental, difficult to get along with and even more difficult to understand. When everyone else is happy and free and laughing about this and that you seek to destroy with your glass-half-empty attitude. Sometimes you build a wall around yourself so that you can privately loll in your fears and discontent blaming the outside world for your misery. You wound, hurt and offend and often it seems you’re oblivious to the mayhem you bring to those around you because, afterall, you are the only one that matters. We’ve tried to include you because you become bitter and hurt when you’re excluded and for various reasons this bothers us. We’ve tried to compliment and build you up because you are easily discouraged and prone to disillusions about what’s going on when you aren’t around. When Jesus says, “love your neighbor as yourself” certainly you must be the exception. If we really focused our thoughts on it, it would be easier to leave you be, watch you wallow in your weighty pool of self-pity, until you step out and realize how wrong you have been. But we don’t.

You are what we call the unlovable; not because you can’t be loved but because you are difficult to love. But we love you anyway. No, we aren't hanging on some delusion that you will become beautiful and kind (you might, but we aren’t holding out for this). But as Christians we are commanded to love. We are even commanded to love you as we love ourselves. Sigh. Also, we realize that loving is freeing; hate binds us to the person being hated. And in your dark world we choose to show you light and keep ourselves free.

We are beings filled with goodness and kindness. We are a reflection of our Father. You will not change that about us. We love because it is greater and more powerful than hate can or ever will be. Hate causes rage and depression and leaves our entire being bitter; not just the part that is busy hating you. We will not be ruled by your temperament and attitude, but by that which lives and rises and is unconquerable-- love.

So, to you, the unlovable, we choose to love you anyway.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Be Relevent

Well, it’s Black History month and it seems that over the years we have gradually settled comfortably into commemorating a compilation of facts; who invented this and who did what to that. Of course we should honor those who have made accomplishments and breakthroughs after all, this is partly what history is all about. We ought to celebrate inventors and innovators; the courageous and risk-takers. It is our duty to pass this knowledge on to our children. But I fear that we hold our heads up high and have become fat with pride in our color and the accomplishments of others; protecting our Blackness and our rights to be without moving forward with selfless intent as those who we celebrate have done.

Today is the day to be headed somewhere. You and I were created at this time and in this skin not by accident but with divine intent and purpose by God. It is not by happenstance that you are an African American born in the 20th or 21st century. Your color is no more of a coincidence than your gender or the parents to whom you were born. You are relevant.

To be relevant means what you do or refuse to do has an effect. You were endowed by God to do, to move, take risks, set goals and complete tasks. What is it that you are doing with this in mind? Does each sunrise just rest on you and you simply bask in its glory without wondering why you were allowed to witness its beauty? Or do you kick off the sheets excited about getting up and out and walking in your calling.
We now have the right to vote, yes, we can say what we want to say and praise our God with liberty. Now what? What will you do today because you are relevant?