One of my favorite stories ends like this…
We are only asked to love, to offer hope to the many hopeless. We don’t get to choose all the endings, but we are asked to play the rescuers. We won’t solve all mysteries and our hearts will certainly break in such a vulnerable life, but it is the best way. We were made to be lovers bold in broken places, pouring ourselves out again and again until we’re called home.
This is but a piece of the story of how To Write Love On Her Arms came to be. It is such a well crafted yet simple enough assertion. We were made to love, not to solve the mysteries, but help the vulnerable ones. What I appreciate about this quote is that it calls people to suffer with one another. But I wonder how far people are willing to go.
I know the church is good at claiming it is the hands and feet. I have experienced the love and care of so many people who lived out exactly what this quote is attempting to elicit but I still wonder just how far people are willing to go.
This past spring I spent time considering what our class called an incarnational ethic. It is this notion that a community is what forms and informs the decisions of individuals based upon the story of that community. For example, abortion is not wrong because it violates some abstract principle concerning the sanctity of life but because our story asserts that life is a gift and we are willing to help you in any way we can. We are willing to suffer with you. While I can appreciate the approach I am turned off by the notion that the story dictates how a person should act. What if that person who is part of your community does not want to listen? What if they hear your story and still want to pursue a different course of action? To go along with the example, what if they heard your story about life and still want to proceed with an abortion?
What do you do?
How far are you willing to go?
Are you willing to put away your story and drive them to the clinic?
Are you willing to enter with them into the fray?