Advent: Love

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Love us. Don’t pity us.

 

“Love us. Don’t pity us.”

 

These words were spoken by a dear friend of mine, representing hundreds, if not thousands, of Filipinos forced to scavenge through the trash of Manila, simply for survival.

 

Because Love is all about respect. Take the respect away, all you really have left is condescension, a.k.a. patronizing superiority. (However, sweetly dressed it is.)

 

And Love liberates. Pity and patronage doesn’t.

If I love you, I will seek your best, whatever that may mean.

If I pity you, I may well enslave you, and use your suffering to polish up my own reputation.

 

Divine Love, Divine Respect

 

God’s Love for us has NOTHING to do with condescension!

The Almighty Creator of the Universe respects us, has due regard for us.

… Quite honestly, I can hardly get my head around this. But that is the conclusion I must come to, because Divine Love is True Love.

 

Perhaps one of the closest ‘parallels’ is the love of a father for his child. However misguided a little boy’s thoughts and actions may be, a good father respects his son’s perspectives, and knows how to lead him back on the right path without bulldozing over the youngster’s will.

 

The Love of God does not diminish us.

 

Hard reality

 

The Christmas Story: Not necessarily having the respect of those around us is a hard fact of life. Mary knows that. She is pregnant, and not married.

But in the midst of public misunderstanding, even condemnation, she is secure in the Love of God.

 

And sometimes it isn’t even the judgement of others that is the sneakiest of thieves, snatching away at our sense of being loved:

Sometime it is self-condemnation,

sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

 

Also here – Love is the answer to the lack of it.

 

“… let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.”

1 John 3:18-20

God’s Love is the very breath of life.

And basically the answer to everything.

 

Love liberation

 

This Advent may we know the Love of God that sets us free.

Freedom from fear of the opinions of others.

Freedom from self-condemnation.

Freedom to truly Love our fellow humans,

not pity them.

 

 

First shared with Church Simplified, Manila: https://www.facebook.com/churchsimplified/

 

 

 

 

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