What it is like, to Love
November 15, 2009
I realized tonight that I don’t love all people as much as once I thought I did. At least, I don’t love them nearly as much as I ought to, nearly as much as they deserve. Honestly, I don’t think I could handle it, but I still believe there is a way, and I still believe that it is something for me to always strive toward.
I started learning about love from my church, and it was there that I came to believe that love, without restraint or requirement, is the force we need to heal the world. I learned about another level to this love from my friends at college. These friends are my family (my family still is, too, though my sister argues that I don’t come home enough), and even when I go crazy and try to push them away, they don’t let me. I’m glad they don’t. But I’ve been learning what it is like to really love people with these friends, and, quite frankly, I am pretty lousy at it. But, if nothing else, I have been learning.
Tonight my friends are in The Pit. At this point in the evening, most of them have been working in the theatre for 13 hours, and, according to one of their estimates, many of them have another four to five hours to go. And tomorrow they start another ten hour shift at 9 a.m.–after 3-4 hours of sleep. I’m not involved in the theatre, but I hate show week, because of what it does to my friends. It is so hard for me to sit here, with only a few writing assignments to work on, while my family is working away for hours and hours, and I all I can do is pray.
This is why it occurs to me that I do not love all people, because my Family is always in The Pit somewhere. For many of the members of my Family, these working conditions are a fact of life; many of the members of my Family are in worse conditions–starving, freezing, sick, forced into war or prostitution or slavery–but my heart does not ache endlessly for them, because I am so distanced from their struggles.
This is why this Love is so important, because without Love our hearts cannot span the distance, the thick bubble-wrap walls that keep us from knowing the pain that fuels our comfortable lives. Without the Love, we are neglecting our Family, and we are incomplete.
So, as much as I hate to feel the way I do now for even a week, Lord, teach me to really love.