This concise theology of love was constructed by The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood (Dean, The New Theology School) after a recent night of dialogue/conversation with Ohio Death Row philosopher, Keith LaMar. Of particular consequence, is Hood’s consistent interaction with Lamar’s slogan, “Love is the only freedom.”
This is the 2nd of 7 short chapters/ruminations.
“Since I’ve acquired love, I feel free right here where I am right here on death row…”
“The more I love the freer I feel…”
Let’s pause for a second to catch our breathe.
There are obstacles out there on the path to love.
What should we beware of?
Let’s take a second and allow those answers to fester inside of us…
Love shouldn’t make you feel like shit. Love shouldn’t make you feel like you’re worthless. Love isn’t abusive. If love makes you feel such things…it isn’t love. You better get the hell away from it quick. It’s a trap. Indeed…that fake love will destroy you quicker than anything else you could imagine…because it destroys you from the inside out.
Beware of fake love.
There is no love in simply believing. You can believe all you want…in whatever you want…but if you don’t have love you are nothing. The problem with believing is that sometimes it takes you away from loving. You work so hard to believe right that you forget to love right. Believe in doing love…or being loving. Surely there is no other reason to believe? Belief without love is abusive.
Beware of belief without love.
Love should always be our hope. Don’t trust nobody who hasn’t placed their hope in love. The future is always going to be bleak without love. Relationships are always going to be terrible without love. There will never be a future worth living in without love. Our hope should be love…and love should be our hope.
Beware of hope without love.
The future should be about love…because if it’s not…then the future is not worth working towards. Our highest aspirations should be love. Our greatest dreams should be love. Our most lofty expectations should be love. The temptation is to think of something a little bit better and work for that. Don’t settle for less. Set your sights on the fullness of love…the fullness of you…the fullness of the future. When you set your sights right…then your love will be right.
Beware of a future without love.
There is no abuse in love. Perfect love casts out abuse. Love should be constantly purging abuse. Love should be constantly refining itself. Love should demand perfection…and work until it is achieved. Throughout life, we face moments of abuse. Love is not about how we endure those moments…it is about what we turn those moments into…love or more abuse?
Beware of any abuse that claims to be love.
Love is love.
Beware of anything that isn’t love.
Now…let’s sit right there for a moment.