Today, as I was procrastinating from my last two sets of grading (yes, I am making progress and even giving commentary – wowee!), I read a note that a friend (an acquaintance really, but in the Internet world I think of you all as my friends) had posted on his Facebook page. He talks of hope and love and the ways that we can live these things in the world.

I’ve been struck by this idea a lot lately as I try to figure out what the Christ-like and loving thing to do is certain situations. I have no concrete answers yet, no directions to take beyond this, but perhaps this is something – I must always remember that no matter the situation God loves the human beings that are involved. God loves them not with a passing, shallow love like I might have for people, but with a deep love that sees who people are made to be, sees their errors and grieves for the pain that these choices will give them but loves them just the same. I know I must show that kind of love.

So I persist – through frustrations with students who seem stubborn in their unwillingness to learn, through anger over actions taken by people in power who don’t seem to understand how their choices damage and degrade, through sorrow over the way that people harm and hurt others because of perceived differences, through my own frustration about my ability to love well and through my own failures at being a loving person. I persist and love. . .

Lest you think I’m one of those Christians who think there are easy answers or that people should be happy all the time, let me be clear. Love sometimes is angry and brutal and tough. Sometimes to love is to grieve and to cry. Sometimes to love is to pull your hair out in frustration. Sometimes it’s to hug. Sometimes to put a soft hand on the back of a person in pain. Sometimes it’s just to sit silent and watch with tears in our eyes.

But here, at Christmas time, when Love came to earth, I think I need to be better at living that Love here where I am, now.

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.