HOPE for the HAPLESS

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Where is the Love?

2 Comments

Every once in a while I will break with common sense and delve into the reader comments on various blog posts and news stories.  I don’t do it too often, as I usually find  my blood pressure rising at the kinds of things I see so freely bandied about.  But, then a particular story grabs my attention and throwing caution to the wind I dig in to see what others are thinking.

One such story I followed recently was a post by Lorna Dueck titled “Where is the church-led economic recovery?” I thought that the original article not only presented a welcome  historical reflection on the role of the church in social ministry but also begged the question for all us Christians today … Are we doing all that we can right now?  I know it is a question that is near and dear to the hearts of many good and faithful people I talk to regularly.  It is a question that got me thinking deeply about how I view my role not only within the church I serve, but also within my community.  I thought that such reflection and questioning would be worth continuing by looking at the comments below it.  I was immediately taken aback.

What followed was a long litany of posts which did little more than vilify Christianity, and attack Christians.  There was post after post full of anger and vitriol  and accusation.  And most of it simply for the Church’s very existence.  There was little or no discussion of what the church was or wasn’t doing to help in times economic difficulty.  There was no discussion of whether or not churches should be concerned about such things or to what degree.  Just a forum for bashing religion in general and Christianity in particular.

At other times such reading may have made me angry, but this time it only made me sad.  Forget asking where is the economic recovery help?  Better to ask where is the love?  One responder actually raised the question of why Christians should be expected to help others who are so eager to attack them.   No one could be blamed for thinking this is a valid question, when hurt people naturally respond by withdrawing.  But this isn’t love either.

And it’s not what we Christians do.  We continue to help, we continue to give, we continue to think of others even when threatened attacked and slandered.  I know many non-Christians who are more than willing to help out friends and family in times of need.  I know some who even go the extra mile and help out those they don’t know.  But the only people I know who are willing to help those who are dangerous, antagonistic, or confrontational are dear Christians.

Time and again I have freely given money to those who were most likely using me.  I have helped those who were obviously trying to play the system.  I have given my time, my food, my care, and my prayers to those who likely will never truly appreciate it.  I have gone the extra step of buying a carton of milk for someone who was actually yelling at me while I gave him food from my own kitchen.  And I would willingly do it again … will do it again.  And I’m not alone.  I personally know hundreds of others who have looked danger in the face and given of themselves anyway … swallowed the insults and the abuse and offered kindness in return … gone without so someone else might have instead.

And this, it seems to me is what our country and its people truly need.  If there is going to be a real and lasting recovery it will not be through any church sponsored programs for getting through tough economic times, but more one-to-one personal displays of the one thing truly lacking in our culture and society today.  Love.  Self-denying, sacrificial love.  Love for those who deserve it.  Even greater love for those who do not.  And perhaps the greatest of our love and concern for those who do not want it (or us) in their life.  The kind of love that Jesus showed for the loveless (like you and me), in that while we were yet sinners He died for us.

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Author: kenmaher

When I'm not working I enjoy Astronomy, Camping, Comic Books, Epic Fantasy Novels, Games (both playing and designing), Hiking, Juggling, Sci-fi, and building strange things out of pvc pipe. I also enjoy being an honorary pre-schooler with my four great children ... much to their mother's dismay.

2 thoughts on “Where is the Love?

  1. i share your sadnness. the breakthrough for me came as a result of attending a walter wink lecture series at knox college U of T. “sin is everything that lies outside of God’s domination free order as revealed to us in our Lord Jesus.” for the first time in my life i captured a glimpse of the scope of the sacrifice Jesus made for all people. those who rail at Christians are the ones we are callled to pray for. those who are cast aside by our society are the ones we are called to share with. those who are broken and hurting are the ones we are called to love and weep with. the most amazing aspect of all this is that as a community (church) we exist for those who do not yet belong to our community. when we decide to give all the love in us away to others we discover the love is graciously replenished at a rate greater than we can give it away. perhaps the suffering and sacrifice of CHristians is Jesus alive in us.

  2. Bob,

    What great insight! Giving is receiving and suffering is joy for those in Christ.

    We do what we do because Christ has called us to do it and we will do it regardless of what others think, say, or do. It is not about the response we get for our acts of kindness, but our acts being a response to the kindness Christ has already shown us!

    Romans 5:3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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