Be strong. Protect the Weak. Love Everyone. ™

LOVE EVERYONE, REALLY??? (Guest post from Cathryn Shaw from ALL AMONG US)

kristi hayesComment

Be strong.

Protect the weak.

Love everyone.

 

Love everyone.

Love everyone . . .

Love everyone?

 

Really?  Everyone?

 

This can’t be right.

 

I understand the importance of being strong and protecting the weak.

 

Is loving everyone really possible in my world?  I can love others, I can love my neighbors, I can love my children, my family, my friends, all kids under a certain age, all adults over a certain age  . . .

 

But everyone?

 

I don’t want to.

 

Do I have to?

 

What definition of love have I held tight, that is not the true meaning?  Love isn’t fuzzy and warm.  It’s not a feeling at all.  To love is a decision made each day.  Webster’s definition of love gets me off track.

 

The Bible says love is respect for others, charity, and mercy.

 

That sounds better.

 

God so loved the world.  Everyone.  The same.  Sinners and saints.

 

If I don’t believe I can achieve this, do I get a free ticket that says “Do Not Have to Try”?  Because this is just who I am?  Because I’ve been wounded in ways you’ll never understand?  Because my person doesn’t deserve my love?  Because I’m afraid to let go of this wall that provides me safety?

 

The ticket I receive says “You will be loved, when you are mean, ugly, rude, tired, hungry, and disconnected.”  What I get is mercy and compassion.

 

So what might happen if I take the first step of offering mercy with those in my life I cannot imagine ever respecting?  Don’t even mention the “L” word.

 

mer·cy

1. compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.

 

The desire to punish or harm does not sound like the person I want to be.  It takes hard work to be the woman I desire.  I fail a lot.

 

I cannot be free from my demons until I forgive those who have done the most harm.  Not just in my life, but in the life of others.  I believe I punish that person by withholding forgiveness, and even compassion.

 

In reality, I allow the poison from a bitter heart to grow on inside my body.

 

Sincerely forgive . . . and find the freedom.

 

If I make an effort to learn about how God calls us to love, and commit to practicing mercy, compassion, and respect – then what?

 

Will this post be rewritten a year from now?  With commitment and practice comes progress.

 

Will lives be dramatically changed as a result of my loving them?  I know this to be true.  It only takes one person.

 

When Grant wrote these words, it wasn’t given as a command to Holden.  I believe it was a challenge to his young son.  It’s become a challenge in my own life, and many of your lives.  A challenge to do better.

 

We can love without expecting anything in return.  We can love and not get goose bumps.

 

By doing our darn best to love everyone, especially those people on our path today, we can honor each other.

 

We can honor God, and cause him to smile down on us

 

Cathryn Shaw is Founder and Executive Director of ALL AMONG US, INC who build meaningful relationships with the chronically homeless, single moms, and their children by providing Care, Love, and Dignity. You can support them through donations as they are raising funds for a women's and children's shelter.  Make DONATIONS HERE. 

p.s. she is one of my favorite person's and exemplifies LOVING EVERYONE.