6:23 a.m. #BlackLivesMatter ... #LoveWins. I'm reading my Twitter newsfeed and, in the midst of life's ordinary joys and sorrows, there is a litany of stories that are heartwarming and that break my heart. These hashtags, #BlackLivesMatter and #LoveWins, are powerful and positive assertions, yet their presence reminds us that we are not kind to one another, we have not figured out how to not kill, hate, or persecute people whom we perceive are different from ourselves.
How is it that we perpetuate such un-love? How is it that we forget or are numb to our natural orientation to love -- and love generously? We are, afterall, capax Dei. Our identity is "capacity for God." How is it that we can do so much sacrilege to our most fundamental identity, our truest self in God?
I don't know what the concrete solution is, but I do know it has to come out of a place of love. I have great admiration for the women and men who are able to put love first, even in the midst of outrageous hatred and violence. Starting with love has no prerequisites. You don't have to have anything in common across politics, religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, or anything else. Just love. We have to trust that love will lead the way.
As I check in throughout the day, I am conscious of how 140 characters can break my heart again and again. There are some days when I wish these hashtags and stories would not break my heart. But, no. I pray that never be the case. Our hearts
Maybe love will have more space to fill us and the world.
I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.
Mary Oliver, "Lead" in New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2