There is something truer than truth and it is love.
-George Handley (Mormon scholar and friend)
What being an ally this week has taught me:
Love is dirty. It stains you as much as it sustains you. It ails you, it heals you. It is the poison you drink the and antidote that saves you. It is the pull in your perspective. It gives you ears to hear.
When you decide to love without reservation you also agree to be changed indefinitely. Love requires sacrifice, it demands all. It determines all. Love remodels the soul, and the physical-once you decide to love you will never feel or look the same again. When someone chooses love, those around them wonder “What happened to them? They look tired. They seem angry.” Because love is not comfortable, it’s not pretty, love is work. It is war you fight every day.
Love is different from romance. Romance is romance. Love is labor. It’s hard labor. It’s not showing up with roses, it’s showing up with resolve. Love never sleeps, it will wake you up in all the ways. Love will burst your bubble. It will give you new eyes to see.
Love will dictate where it is to be applied and where it isn’t. Love will send you away or it will pull you closer. If you listen to its incessant demands, love will tell you where you need to be-in a relationship, out of a relationship, in a pew of a fraught church, in a new community or alone. Love will give you new legs.
Love has no patience for your concerns about social acceptance, or habits of your heritage. It will transcend your insecurities and insist you follow. You must follow love. You must follow love. You must follow love or it will follow you and hunt you down until it engulfs you.
Love is the act of doing for others what they cannot do for themselves. It is honoring the marginalized, speaking for the silent, standing with those who stand alone. It always feels radical, it always feels scary, it always requires bravery.
And it’s possible that love can actually make you feel like your heart is swollen, bruised and pained. You will feel it pounding in your ears in the mornings and you will grab your chest with your hands and apply pressure, and you will say, “I feel like my heart may break into a thousand pieces.”
Of all the elements on the earth, love is the heaviest.
And in return, love offers you courage. And I think that is about all it gives. But it is enough.