In Love and In Death

Is it possible to care for someone without having designs for him or her? Is it possible to love someone without having an agenda, no matter how glorious or noble? Is it possible to respect someone without having dreams or wishes for that person? These are very real questions that I ask. They are not hypothetical either, but real and urgent and necessary.

Jesus got angry with the teachers because they were laying burdens upon the people, burdens no doubt birthed from the teachers' well-informed and studied dreams, desires, wishes, agendas and plans for the people. I don't think for a second that their intentions were evil, but good and admirable. Could they love and teach the people without burdening them at all? Could they teach them without their teaching being pregnant with expectations? Could they love them with their desires as a community completely detached?

This is the problem: not that we need to purify our wishes for others, but to crucify them; not that we must make lovelier strings to attach to our love, but to cut them off altogether; not that we must baptize our agendas, but to lay them down once and for all; not that we must passionately make our visions more heavenly, but to forsake them now. What destroys true community is the layers of expectation, agenda, vision and wishes that are pressed upon it. This is why love is very much like death... because in both we must learn to let go. And this is why, my friends, we refuse to love... because it is too much like death... death to ourselves and all our desires.


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