It’s been snowing on and off the last two days. We were supposed to get a couple of inches of the white stuff overnight, but alas woke up this morning to just a light dusting. Yea! No driveway to shovel (smile). I’m sure there were many disappointed kiddos this morning when they discovered that they had to go to school today. I even heard grumbling from my college age daughter when she heard her college was one of the only colleges that didn’t at least have a delayed opening. Welcome to adulthood dear (smile).
I remember those snow days as a kid. Even though I lived in the city, we had some awesome sledding hills. They were streets though so we had to have a system set up. We always had kids “stationed” at various points to make sure there weren’t any cars coming. It was tricky sometimes navigating the cars that were parked on those streets, but we had some fun times. Of course the enemy in those days were the snowplow drivers. There were always some kids that let them know their presence wasn’t welcome by whirling snowballs at their trucks. On one particular day when the drivers came through and ruined our fun, my cousins and I came up with an alternate plan. We were at my grandmother’s, and across the street from her house was a steep grassy hill that was parallel to what we referred to as “the big hill.” Since the streets were plowed, we decided to try out this hill. There was just one problem…at the bottom of said hill happened to be a large grouping of bushes and trees. We weren’t going to let them ruin our fun though. We came up with a plan. We would go up the hill one at a time and the remainder cousins would stand at the bottom by the treeline as a shield. Brilliant…or so we thought.
The first couple of runs went perfectly. My turn came up again so I took the saucer and trudged my way up the hill. I got to the top and yelled down to see if everyone was ready. I got the thumbs up so I put the saucer on the snow, plopped down, and gave myself a good push. Things were going great until the saucer turned around and I was going down the hill backwards. There were many problems with this, but the main one being I couldn’t see when I was nearing the end of the hill. To help stop ourselves, we would dig our feet into the snow to help the other cousins stop us in time. This method didn’t work as well going backwards and suddenly I felt their arms at my back only to break through them right smack into a branch. Crack! I thought for sure that stick was actually in my back. It felt like it!
Luckily the damage wasn’t too bad. I had, as you can imagine, one nasty bruise and lots of soreness in my back. In fact, it’s only been the last five years that I haven’t felt that old injury thanks to some physical therapy. We thought we had the perfect plan to keep each other safe. It didn’t quite work out that way. We knew it could be dangerous, and we knew we needed to be mindful of that, but we didn’t think of the consequences if it didn’t work.
I think love can be like that too. Love matters…but how we love matters even more. This seems really obvious, but I think sometimes we think we are being loving when actually to the other person it doesn’t feel like love at all. I’m becoming more and more aware of this fact as I meet more LGBTQ people and hear their stories. People do some awful things in the name of love. Ask the LGBTQ youth that’s been kicked out of their home in the name of love. “I love you and because the Bible says it’s wrong I can’t have you here thinking that I agree with what you are doing,” are some of the things they are told. I find it interesting how people pick certain things in the Bible to stand by while ignoring so many others. For instance, there should be many Christians in church on Sunday’s missing their right eyes as Jesus describes in Matthew 5:29. It’s in the Bible…right? When confronting someone with what you think is sin in their life, you need to ask yourself is this my truth – something I perceive or is this God’s truth. Do you know the person’s life story? Do you know what’s in their heart? All too often we take words from the Bible and use them to condemn others…in the name of love. This has caused deep-rooted pain and scars in God’s people.
My cousins and I thought we had a good plan that would keep us safe. If we had consulted with an adult, things may have turned out differently. When you are faced with a situation that involves another person and could cause harm if not handled correctly, consult God. Ask Him how you should respond. If a person walks away from you feeling shame, you have failed to show love.
Love matters…how we love matters even more.