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I like to imagine a world full of people being their best selves, and that ultimately they want to love well. I wish I saw more proof of this. I want to believe it. I think most people want this for themselves. We are all a product of influence, and impressions. We consume information and then attempt to live out what we decide is best. I have seen loving people. I have seen unkind people. I have seen bitter people. All of them love in some way. I wonder though, do we think we know how to love, when in fact we need to love different?

Life is full of choices. Now more than ever individuality is held in high regard. I fear an all about me society. If we forget ourselves, instead of promoting respect for differences, creating curiosity of knowledge, and a celebration of uniqueness, it could promote hatred, jealousy, pride, and bullying. I don’t believe anyone should be held in bondage of persecution for who they are. Being an advocate for all broken people, I believe there is an important part of the process we all need to remember. The monumental part of individuality that needs to be focused on and given the utmost attention is love.

I don’t know one person who deep down inside doesn’t want to be heard or seen for who they really are. An understanding glance, a look of compassion crosses barriers that are otherwise landmines of the heart, laid to protect it. Are the words grace and love beginning to get watered down and diluted? When did we stop seeking to understand one another and begin drawing lines? I think if we truly believe we are loving then I challenge that we love different.

Loving different is celebrating differences. It is to love deeply, passionately and recklessly. To love different we need to learn patience, kindness, how to bear with one anothers burdens. We need to remember hurt people hurt people until they find healing. We need to love bigger than we do. We are all hurting in some way or another. Some of us maybe scarred, but we remember the pain of the wound. Those of us with scars need to stop acting small and put into perspective the grace that was extended to us and extend it in abundance to others in need. This kind of love, loves people through their hard times. Like when a family member gets cancer, some loved ones shave their heads. Why then are we not loving like that all that time? Why aren’t we wearing masks obnoxiously for the elderly just so they can still go to church?

Loving different abandons judgment and seeks to understand, seeks to lift up. It seeks to meet one where they are at, it prays for wisdom, and it never bombards. To love different cynicism needs to die. Knees need to be calloused, and worn from hitting them to pray. How different could love be if instead of pointing fingers and shaming those whom we don’t agree with we prayed, fasted, and encouraged? I just wonder if we all tried a little harder, were a little more intentional, if we asked God for more help, if maybe, just maybe we could love different.

Lord, Please help me love different. Help me love like You do. Amen

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