What has Love become?……….

March 26, 2009

You don’t have to be ashamed cause your a miracle through and through.  You don’t have to be ashamed of the miracle inside of you.  What has love become?  It’s not like we used to hear in those old songs.

Why have we decided that someones worth is determined by how useful they are?  It is as if we have turned the word love into the word useful…

It is no coincidence that when someone in our society is not useful we ignore, institutionalize or abandon those who we have no use for. 

In The Other Journal, Daniel J. Salinas  speaks of a time when his daughter, who was physically and mentally challenged, passed away and the pain he felt from the words of others.  He says at one point, “There must have been two options: “God heals her, or God takes her away.  I had people coming up to me saying, “She was better off now….”

He goes on to say, “Evidently, If anyone, like our daughter, for example, cannot produce, her life is meaningless, worthless.”

How many times do we think this way?  Unfortunately, I can count quite a few, for me.  We call people projects, clients or quick fixes without loving the unloved.  When will it be enough to love someone because they need love.  Why do we always bring an agenda to the table?

It pains me to see people that honestly believe that usefulness is the key to life.  I have a friend who is homeless and an alcoholic.  This friend left town recently and I have missed him.  My friend has been without love his whole life.  There is a local pastor in the area who built a relationship with my friend and my friend use to call him when he was very very drunk.  One night, the pastor had enough and took him to a treatment facility.  Yes, I believe that we need to help our friends when they are in need, but what the pastor told him is unbearable to think about.  He said to my friend, “If you don’t stay in this treatment facility then I am not helping you anymore.”  I equate this to, “If you don’t get better I am not going to love you anymore.”  My friend left three hours later……….

What has Love become?

That is not how love works…..we need to love until it hurts……no matter what.

“How can I love this person” is replaced with “How can I fix this person.”

“How can I serve this person” is replaced by “How can I get this person to contribute to society.”

They become bad “cases” instead of people who need love.

Nobody likes to be a charity case……

When will we be able to sit at the table and break bread with whoever will come?

When we look at someone what do we immediately think? 

Is it “that person is useless” or is it “that person is love.”

This is what Salinas has to say about his daughter whom people had made it very clear that she was better off dead:

“She was a bearer of God’s image, and that was more than enough reason to have lived.”

What does it look like to love those who are not useful?  Those who do not contribute to society?  Those who do not produce?  What does it look like to love those whom nobody else does?

Love…….What has it become?

My heart is in motion, for the song inside you……..

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3 Responses to “What has Love become?……….”

  1. Anonymous said

    Hey Jon,

    I just read your blog. I’ve enjoyed it the few times I read it. Society is becoming more aware of the affects alcoholism has on the alcoholic and those around them. They are also becoming more aware of the fact that it is treatable. Alcoholism, if left untreated, will absolutely kill the alcoholic. Unfortunately, however, most alcoholics will not seek treatment until their very temporary ways of dealing with it stop working. I would like to qualify everything that I say by telling you that I’ve been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 10 years. When I had been sober for about 2 years a young girl, who proved to me that she was, indeed an alcoholic, came into AA because her father forced her to come. She was not happy about being there. Because the AA program in our town had so few young people in attendance, we became very close and eventually started dating. I’ve never loved anyone more deeply than I loved her. But she did not want to quit drinking and eventually left the program – and me. But she knew I loved her and, as a result, would call me when she had gotten herself into serious trouble. She called me when she wrecked the car that she had stolen from her mother. She called me whenever she aborted the baby she conceived by a drug-dealer she was sleeping with for free cocaine. And it was always at 3am through the week when I had to be at work the next day. This went on for years. She wouldn’t call me for months, but then when something awful happened as the result of her lifestyle, and felt like there was no one in the world who loved her, she would call me. She knew that I’d always love her. And you know what? She was right. I’d sacrifice any obligation or prior commitment to go to her, comfort her, and let her know that she was loved. I accepted her exactly as she was. I let her be herself, and I loved her on her terms – completely on her terms. And as long as she knew that I’d be there; as long as she knew that at least one person on this earth loved her the way she was, there was no reason for her to change. I was killing her. I was essentially supporting her in her efforts to slowly commit suicide. I finally realized what I was doing. I was allowing her to receive a little temporary relief from the lifestyle that had kicked her ass so that, like a boxer who takes a rest in the corner, she could go back into the ring to fight the 400lb. gorilla that is alcoholism. The fight is a match to the death, and the gorilla always wins. Alcoholics drink – that’s what they do, and until they get help, they’ll do it until they die from it, and no human power can relieve them from it. Only God can, and He will, but the alcoholic must be willing to seek God – and it is often through treatment, even though some people do get sober in church. Either way it’s God, not any person, who gets the alcoholic sober. Sobriety is between God and the alcoholic; but as long as the alcoholic can receive temporary relief from a human being, they will do it – and the more often an alcoholic can receive temporary relief in this way, the longer they will continue their journey on the slow, painful road to death. I had to stop taking her phone calls. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever had to do because I did love her so much. But because I loved her so much, it was important for me to stop being so selfish so that she might eventually get tired of the fight and realize that there is no rest in the corner of the ring – and that she might throw the fight and find real hope in the only One who can relieve her. Love takes many forms – not least of which is tough love. It is important to note that, if there is truly love between them, that tough love is tough for the one giving it as it is for the one receiving it. It may be that the pastor who took your friend to the treatment center was showing love to your friend the way he needed to be loved. I’m not sure that the pastor was concerned about your friend being socially useful, but that he wanted your friend to get some relief from the only Source who provides it. God saves the lives of lots of Alcoholics in treatment centers and AA meetings. The pastor probably knew that. The pastor also probably knew that as long as your friend continued to rely on him for relief, he would continue to fight with Alcoholism instead of surrendering and seeking power from God, not from man. Alcoholics Anonymous has three pertinent ideas about alcoholics: (a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives. (b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism. (c) That God could and would if He were sought.
    That being said, I do agree that people, particularly in this society, assign human worth with production and usefulness. I’m sorry people do that. “I married this person because…” or “I love this person because.…” This view of love has probably come from the fact that we are such a materialistic society. We equate material goods, which we derive pleasure from, with happiness. So people “love” their Porsche 911 because they get something out of it. People “love” their bass boat because they get something out of it. I guess people have merely become objects that if we derive pleasure from or get something out of, then we “love.”

    Later,
    Anonymous

  2. charlene said

    Jon, you say we need to love until it hurts, but what about the wife who is abused by her husband daily? should she wait it out and love him until he changes?

    what about the love that will simply not let you remain how you are? christs love that compels us to grow and be transformed. just a different side.

  3. Charlene said

    Jon, I see where you’re coming from. You know, it makes sense.

    BUT what about the wife who is abused by her husband weekly or even daily? What about the child who is abused by a parent or a teacher.

    Love that… hurts, is a strong statement. I understand where you’re coming from, but, I think that a little more clarity is necessary.

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