04 July 2013

A Zombie Learns to Love

Greetings, dear ones!

I apologize that it has been so long since I've posted here.  I have been more faithful with my prayer blog over the last several months, so I hope you have been enjoying the posts there.  

Perhaps I ought to post something on independence.  People across my country are likely posting about that today. I don't want to talk about independence and the pride of the motherland, though.  I want to address an issue of interdependence -- let's talk about love.

During much of my life, I have witnessed people around me being willing to give up everything that they are, and everything that they have, in order to please someone else.  These martyrs-of-sorts (admittedly used to be one, thinking that I was following the "proper" way of the Christian) will cease to have opinions about things because it will cause tension. They will not speak up when they feel violated. They do not listen to the internal voice that says the other is harmful to be around, and they are often attracted to the very people who will take advantage of their willingness to give.  

"Zombie Love" - Photo by Trista Wynne
This is life-taking-zombie-love, dear ones.  This is not the life-giving love that Christ offers.  This is not the rejuvenating way of the Beloved.

Loving others is not the same as allowing ourselves to become door mats. We do need to listen to the intuitive part of ourselves that lets us know whether a person is safe or whether they would be harmful or toxic for us to be around on a regular basis. If we allow others to hurt us, (particularly if we allow continuous abuse in verbal, physical or sexual forms) then we are allowing the other person's spirit to destroy itself and we are not caring for ourselves. Self-effacement is not love. True love includes self-care.

Love is feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the prisoners, tending the wounded and offering the thirsty a cup of water -- all without looking upon them with disdain or feeling prideful in our hearts. Love honors the one who is giving and the one who is receiving. Love places both giver and receiver on an equal level.

Each person has to decide what kind of pathway they will walk. The calling of the Christ-follower is to think, speak and act in ways that would be received as loving, merciful and compassionate. This is how we are to bring hope, light and life to a world that often has self-destructive and violent tendencies. This is my ultimate goal and it shapes the way I paint, sing, dance, work, play, pray, speak and serve. Although I am not perfect, I sure am trying hard to reflect the love that I have found in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

I pray that we all find a way to express love while also caring for ourselves, dear ones! May we continue to allow Christ to be the antidote for the zombie virus within our world and inside of us. May we find ways to express our love for God, for others, for the animals and for the world around us that brings health, wholeness, restoration and peace to us all.  Amen.

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