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The events of the other day (and this summer) show, with stark frankness, that our world is in desperate need of love and truth. Not the free love touted in the 1970s. But compassion. Moral fiber. The love of neighbor, not just the Golden Rule (Matt 7:12), but those willing to lay down their lives for a friend (John 15:13).

That is a comradery that we have sorely lost. We feel it’s absence yet try to replace it with things. We lack love so we fill the void by buying more, accumulating stuff. If our homes are full then so too must our hearts be. However, that isn’t the case. Unfortunately, we know all too well that happiness isn’t bought, contentment isn’t found in possessing items.

Love is found with people.

And, if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that we can survive without spending quality time with others but that lifestyle is hollow and wanting.

Too often, however, we run from love. Not just replacing it with stuff but we turn away from what could be great because it takes effort. It might not look like we imagined it. It might even have obstacles before it becomes something substantial. We let our worries and our fears get in the way of love.

From Instagram

We don’t show love to others because it might look weird. It might be uncomfortable. It might require vulnerability and openness.

I know that we all have an idea of what the perfect life is. I won’t paint the picture for you; I know you know it well, you’ve dwelt on it often enough–at least, I know I have. So when something comes along to challenge that, what do I do? Do I take an honest look at what I want and what’s challenging it, do I run from the challenge, do I hold tightly to what I want in the face of extremely long odds?

It’s not easy. Is it worth it? Sometimes. But I know this: we are called to love and be loved.

We are called to something better. To be more. To imitate Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2) and bear His love to a world in desperate need of it.