I often use the book, Common Prayer by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro, for prayer. I find it helpful for my personality and bent. And, a little while ago, I read this prayer which I thought was beautiful, true, and needed:
“Give us more light about each other: that we might understand enough to love.” (p. 154)
Isn’t that a beautiful prayer? Isn’t that what is missing in our world – enough understanding, so that we can love?
The truth is, we love binaries, we love judgments, we love knowing who is in and who is out. But, that’s not what true love is about.
True love is understanding someone enough that we might really support and journey with them. And, even when we disagree with them, to do so in a way that values their dignity and worth.
I just think that this deep understanding about others is missing in our fast-paced, “talking point,” and “tweetable” world. We are missing the depth that allows us to develop compassion and transformation. We need to be moving toward understanding of those we differ with, so that we can love them deeper, and understand them better.
This is especially important with our enemies and those with whom we really disagree. 2 Timothy 2:25 (NLT) puts it this way:
“Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.”
Gentleness is supposed to be part of our tone, demeanour, and perspective. And, what grows gentleness and compassion is often understanding.
So, to make this practical and personal, I want to ask:
With whom are you struggling?
And, if you can name someone, can you also pray that prayer above? Can you ask for more understanding, so that the depth of your love grows?
Because, I believe that in our world today, that’s what is needed:
More understanding. More love. In essence, more living like Jesus.