I saw a funny Valentine posted on the wall of a church elevator today. At the center was a heart, boldly crayoned in black. Above the heart, written in bright red were the words: Radical Love. I was on my way to a gathering of people working in the Morningside, Virginia/Highland area to help neighbors who are homeless move into stable living situations. Representing 16 Intown congregations, this group also sponsors a food pantry and several food co-ops. What’s behind this brave effort and so many others like it around the city? Radical love is actually the best explanation I can come up with radical in the sense of arising from its source, which is God’s loving heart, radical in the sense of being willing to go to the limit for love’s sake, radical in the sense of being a strong act of will, as opposed to a warm and fuzzy emotion.
“We are dealing with a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions,” a neighborhood minister said today at the meeting today. The situation is truly staggering. The number of men, women, and children who are without permanent shelter in the metropolitan area hovers somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000. Nothing short of radical love mixed together with public will, and personal commitment will turn the tide. Acrimony and recrimination waste time and energy and will not solve anything.
Once Mother Teresa was introduced to an audience as “the greatest woman in the world”. When she rose to speak, she dismissed her introduction by saying that if she were the greatest woman in the world, you would think God would have made her tall enough to see over the podium. “No, I am not the greatest,” she said, “but I will tell you who I am. I am but a tiny pencil in the hand of a writing God, through whom God writes love letters to the world. And so are you!”
A Valentine for God. What a concept.
May love be our ammunition and our aim against every force that leaves any of God’s children out in the cold this winter in Atlanta.
Rev. Joanna Adams