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  • Writer's pictureEllen Romer Niemiec

Choosing to Love

We are grains in a balance. Drops of morning dew. We are small and miniscule, each of us one of an infinite number.

As small as we are, we still each hold power in our own way, with different abilities and capacity for influence. What are you capable of? What can you do or get away with?

Jesus can ignore Zaccheus or simply forgive his sins and be on his way. But he decides to go to his house. He decides to publicly be in relationship with someone who has harmed others and who is on the margins of his own community. In this instance, his power is not just one of forgiving sins but of showing tenderness and affection when he really doesn’t have to. The desire to be close, loving and merciful in this instance might even cause a bit of drama.

I have found in my life so far that those I most admired and who have impacted me most deeply are those who have been kind, pastoral and thoughtful. It doesn’t mean they haven’t had to make hard decisions, hold boundaries or have never made a mistake. They have demonstrated that the power they had - whether earned or given - was still oriented toward the good of those around them. They still chose to be personal and kind, especially when they did not have to and even when it was not necessarily to their obvious benefit.

It’s scary to offer an extra moment or go the extra mile. It requires vulnerability and the risk that those to whom you offer kindness may reject it or simply take advantage of you. The temptation to be guarded, cold, pessimistic and negative is an easy one and we all fall into it. God is all of the grains, all of the dew, everything unto infinity with the power to do anything and everything. But if God chooses love, mercy and vulnerability when God can choose absolutely anything, why can’t we?

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