It’s easy today to get caught up in the negative portrayal of human beings by the media. It’s easy to become enraged, to question what the world is coming to, and to lose hope in humanity. It can also be as easy to refuse this version of our nation’s story. We can resist giving in to the trap of reducing another human being to their opposing viewpoint so that they are no longer human, but a lost cause to be eliminated from our society.
This is what St. Luke’s Episcopal Church believes. Last week, a handful of us decided we’d had enough of the bad, and felt that there was still a lot of good in this world. Love and light still exist in our country. We made signs and stood on the streets to remind passersby that we love them, and they are worthy of being loved, regardless of where they stood on political issues, personal values, religious beliefs, or however they might have opposed us. We choose love. We wanted to remind everyone that we are all human beings first who are capable of love and being loved, and hopefully inspire others to choose love as well. Being the good Episcopalians, we also had free donuts and water to give away! Not many took us up on the donut offer (and maybe that’s a good thing?!?), but many showed their appreciation by waving, honking their car horns, or simply stopping to talk to us. We even had one lovely lady give us a monetary donation, and one who brought us cups of cold water. But what was most uplifting was support from the community in the form of participation. People reached out to ask how they could participate in a future event, or to learn how we did it so they could do something similar! Never did we imagine we would move so many people. We are sure glad we did!
In our sermon last week, Father Earl talked about how we must serve someone or something, but who or what we serve is up to us to decide. In the Gospel reading (Mark 6:14-29), we learned that being a disciple of Jesus is not always an easy path. At the same time, however, if we choose love, that can be a simple thing to do. It can come in many different forms, from a simple sign, a letter of appreciation, a small donation, or even a cup of cold water. When we choose to respond with love, we are reminded of the human being on the receiving end – our fellow brothers and sisters who are people capable of love and of being loved. What’s more, love is just as infectious as anger or hate. So why choose the latter? Most of us, if not all of us, can get behind love. Most of us, if not all of us, believe in love. Let’s choose the way of love. Let’s choose to respond with love. Let’s heal our broken relationships first by remembering that we are humans who want, need, and can love. And then, let us resolve our differences from the same place of love because love is the way.