My Calling Is To Love …

Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
Maya Angelou

We have spoken here of similar acts. In different acts we find a man acting cruelly through charity and acting agreeably through wickedness. A father beats his child, and a slave-master is kind to his slave. If you were to choose between the two things, lashes and kindness, who would not choose kindness and flee from lashes? If you consider the persons, charity does the beating, wickedness is kind.  See what we have praised, because the acts of man are not distinguished except by being rooted in charity. For many things can appear to be good and not proceed from the root of charity.  Therefore once for all this short command is given to you: “Love and do what you will.”  If you keep silent, keep silent by love: if you speak, speak by love; if you correct, correct by love; if you pardon, pardon by love; let love be rooted in you, and from the root nothing but good can grow.
— Augustine of Hippo from Selected Writings

A calling, on the other hand, when rooted deep in the soil of one’s soul, transcends roles. And I believe that my calling, as a Christian, is the same as that of any other follower of Jesus. My calling is to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. Jesus himself said that the rest of Scripture can be rendered down into these two commands. If love was Jesus’ definition of “biblical,” then perhaps it should be mine.
— Rachel Held Evans from A Year of Biblical Womanhood

How do we know that we are infinitely loved by God when our immediate surroundings keep telling us that we’d better prove our right to exist? The knowledge of being loved in an unconditional way, before the world presents us with its conditions, cannot come from books, lectures, television programs, or workshops. This spiritual knowledge comes from people who witness to God’s love for us through their words and deeds. These people can be close to us but they can also live far away or may even have lived long ago. Their witness announces the truth of God’s love and calls us to act in accordance with it.
— Henri Nouwen from Bread For The Journey

There is a place of peace in the heart that looks out and sees the madness of the world. It does not judge, criticize or condemn but compassionately accepts the foolishness of others.
This place is called Love.
Love cannot be taught, only shown.
It is not a lesson to give, it is a relationship with life.
It is not a beating with a stick, but a caress with an open hand.
It is the strongest force in the universe, but needs time to be understood.
The one who encourages you to be afraid is not your friend. The one who shows the unity and interconnectedness of all things will not want something from you.
When you are afraid you are already the victim.
When you are loving, you are exactly where you want be.
This sharing of love without conditions is the way of the heart.
Michael Kewley 
God does not spill milk. God did not bash the truck into your father’s car. Nowhere in scripture does it say, ‘God is car accident’ or ‘God is death.’ God is justice and kindness, mercy, and always—always—love. So if you want to know where God is in this or in anything, look for love.

— Kate Braestrup from Here if You Need Me

If you are looking for verses with which to support slavery, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to abolish slavery, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to oppress women, you will find them. If you are looking for for verses with which to liberate or honor women, you will find them. If you are looking for reasons to wage war, you will find them. If you are looking for reasons to promote peace, you will find them. If you are looking for an out-dated, irrelevant ancient text, you will find it. If you are looking for truth, believe me, you will find it. This is why there are times when the most instructive question to bring to the text is not “what does it say?”, but “what am I looking for?” I suspect Jesus knew this when he said, “ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.” If you want to do violence in this world, you will always find the weapons. If you want to heal, you will always find the balm.

— Rachel Held Evans from A Year of Biblical Womanhood

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
— Augustine of Hippo from Selected Writings

What I love about the ministry of Jesus is that he identified the poor as blessed and the rich as needy…and then he went and ministered to them both. This, I think, is the difference between charity and justice. Justice means moving beyond the dichotomy between those who need and those who supply and confronting the frightening and beautiful reality that we desperately need one another.
— Rachel Held Evans from A Year of Biblical Womanhood

My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.
Maya Angelou

See Also:

Love and say it with your life.
Augustine of Hippo

rainbow

Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
Maya Angelou

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