Love At Any Cost

In Uncategorized by Anna Golladay

I learned in marriage counseling that if I win an argument and my wife feels diminished, we both lose. I am connected to her. If she leaves our interactions feeling hurt, there is no winning for me. Similarly, if my brothers and sisters and sisters from Mexico and Central America are facing deportation back to violence and abuse then we as Black Americans don’t win. If my Native brothers and sisters are languishing on reservations I can’t celebrate just because I got mine for my people and then seek to protect “us” from “them”. There is no party, no hurray. I must, as a follower of Jesus seek the flourishing of those around me, especially those most vulnerable because our flourishing is interwoven. So if that is my posture and I can grieve the deaths of murdered police officers and the violence that pervades majority white America then it is exponentially hurtful when my pain persists unacknowledged, unaddressed, un-atoned for.

But this reality does not validate my desire for vengeance or retaliation, as I desire reconciliation and justice, not a bastardization of the two. Jesus did not slap Zacchaeus but shared a meal with him instead. The same is true of Matthew (Levi) who was a tax collector and also Pilate and his wife.

“Justice is what love looks like in public,” said Cornel West and Jesus on the Cross executed justice for all of us in front of everyone when He sacrificed His life so that even those who crucified Him might live. And this is precisely what we must do. We must love so radically that even our enemies stop and look at what they have done to us because we worked for their good as much or more than our own.

Jonathan Walton is the Director of InterVarsity’s New York City Urban Project and the founder of the LoGOFF Movement. He is a member of Poetic People Power, writes regularly for the Huffington Post, and teaches frequently on integrating faith and justice into our daily lives. He lives in Queens, NY with his wife Priscilla, daughter Maia and dog Snow Bear. He is a member of New Life Fellowship in Elmhurst Queens.

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