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.

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