Sunday, March 26, 2006

On learning to love

I've had to get involved in a struggle to rescue three little kids that fell into the hands of Los Angeles Dept. of Child and Family Services and a nice "Christian" family who wanted to adopt them against the will of their mother. Being a superior form of spiritual life, they were doing right in their eyes to act in such cruelty and deceit as you may be sure they would find fault with, if they saw the same behavior in a Muslim or a Jehovah's Witness!

Like Adonijah acting like he was king in order to become so (1 Kings 1), these players tried to make facts on the ground by cutting off court-ordered visitation and filling the kids up with candy and trashy toys (and about 15 cavities in 3 months) to distract them from their family and attach them to themselves - as Satan does to alienate people from their relationships with God and others. As I write, praise God, these "Christians" seem to have abandoned their effort.

We were speaking about it a week ago, and it became clear that loving the little kids was not at first what made me fight for them. I have fought for them because we have to for them as we know we would want others to do for us if we were helpless in the hands of the wicked as they were. We do not want to have to explain to them in 15 years why we abandoned them, and we sure don't want to discuss it with them at the judgment seat of Christ.

But we could not sustain our commitment to them without learning to love them more. Only love never fails. Love is not something we do because we're so wonderful, a superior form of spiritual life. Love is the muscles and calluses we develop when we are forced by duty to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God - what it takes not to do to others what we would hate to have done to us, as Rabbi Hillel said.

We don't learn to love so we can display our magnificence like some guy showing how buff he is in an exercise machine commercial. We learn to love as we are compelled to do so in order to remain decent human beings instead of becoming like the rest of this crooked and perverse generation. We have nothing to brag about, because if we didn't have to, we'd do it some other way. Only love never fails.


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5/02/2006 5:48 AM  

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