Our Passion for Justice, by Carter Heyward

“Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being ‘drawn toward’. Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one’s friends and enemies. Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf on women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.

For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called ‘love’. Love is a choice- not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity- a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.”

This above writing has been assisting me in redefining love for myself in my world. I never doubted that love is full commitment, but where I take pause is in the idea that love does not just happen. It requires tasks and duties that keep it alive and nurtured. It is represented by so many acts that we perform daily with and for the ones that we love the most. However, with romantic love, this gets lost so often, even on a lover like me. I get so stuck in the need to be verbally, symbolically reminded of the romantic, full heart love feeling, that I neglect to see the love that is expressed in all the tasks, duties, daily little rituals that occur. I understand that those are expressions of love, but those expressions are often not enough for me. I need to hear the words, see the look, feel the power from my lovers’ arms. There has to be a balance in there somewhere. I just need to find it.

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