We love, in spite of the data

Unconditional love requires unconditional respect for others and for all creation. Native American spirituality understands this, as do the healthiest expressions of the world’s religions. This respect doesn’t depend on the quality of the other person’s life. It’s respect per se. It’s respect for life itself.

In some ways, we have progressed to be more inclusive, just and compassionate. In other ways, we have regressed to be more exclusive, prejudiced and alienated.

Unconditional love seeks healing, which includes standing for justice and standing with those who are treated unjustly. Unconditional love takes no joy in vigorously opposing unjust leaders or policies, but respectfully opposes wrongdoing and wrongdoers.

There is “a balm in Gilead” because troubles abound. In the “New Jerusalem,” the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations because troubles abound. Unconditional love sees our pain, trouble and injustice–and is steadfastly undeterred.

Not naively, unconditional love wisely sees new possibilities. Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann said biblical prophets spoke words of hope in spite of the data.

From “Prayer of Saint Francis,” from the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, via YouTube

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