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  • Shanley McConnell

Solidarity; But Stronger--Still Are The Blessed.

"My counsel for you is simple & straightforward:


'Step forward with your arms full and hands open. you've received Jesus Christ, the Master, now live in Him. Let the faith in you spill over into thankful living.'" Colossians 2v6--7.


~


When it's a black-coffee-kind-of-afternoon after awake-at-two-am-kind-of-night and the 'Breaking News really does just feel like it's trying to break you.


When the burning call for solidarity is strong, but stronger-still is 'the no one brave enough to speak-out and ask for clarity------the kind of clarity that gives us permission to accept those with whom we disagree. To stand side-by-side without seeing eye-to-eye.


When culture and social pressure corners us in-between the tolerant and the bigoted, it leaves no room for love to be real. This, I think, is because the world convinces itself that acknowledging difference is dangerous.


But humanity is a beautiful diversity. Of race and sex and religion and culture, tradition and accents and language and experience.


And if we cannot acknowledge difference, how can we truly celebrate the things that connect us? The the things that brings us all together despite.


If our love is given because we are afraid of being labelled 'intolerant,' we will always second-guess its sincerity. Love is something to be treasured. Real love-----the kind of love that does not depend on the face-value-----is not threatened by a fear of appearance. Embracing the simultaneously beautiful-different allows us to acknowledge who we are and accept all others.


Love is an experience. It is irrefutable. It can be nothing less than itself; it cannot exist on pretence.


Love releases us from the pressure to conform and enables us to communicate----to build community. With the Poor in Spirit. With the mourning and the meek. With those who hunger & thirst for righteousness. With the merciful, the peacemakers, the persecuted. With those we do & do not understand. Matthew 5:3--10. To love----to love the least-loved, the lonely, the lost; this is to be free.



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