What Is Necessary for Love?

Rev. Aaron Payson

We continue our exploration of love which is the Soul Matters theme for this month.  To be honest, this meditation begins with thoughts of another tragedy and the heartache that it continues to foster in so many at Michigan State University, violence that comes on the heel of the devastation witnessed following earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.  The images in both instances show so many people fighting for their lives and fighting to save lives.  Like many, I’ve searched for words and ways to anchor me in this moment.  So I’ve taken this opportunity to share one such find.  

Reflecting on the book No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valarie Kaur,  Skeena Rathor, the Vision Coordinator for Extinction Rebellion, writes,

“Kaur’s proposition is this: “Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger protects that which is loved. And when we think we have reached our limit, wonder is the act that returns us to love.” This is how we see no stranger. We commit ourselves to wonder by dedicating time to listen with wonder to those we know least. We listen with a heart of surrender and seek to become easier when we speak to one another about what we don’t know. We respect our anger and act upon its wellspring of wisdom for the protection of life we love. We mourn and grieve in solidarity – we actively feel one another’s losses and show up in physical presence for this as activism in action, and we nourish ourselves with what brings us joy in body, heart and soul. This is Kaur’s manifesto and prescription for creating a durable future. It illuminates what we need as individuals and in community to be in the fight for life. Thank you, Valerie Kaur, for deciphering and sharing what is needed with such bright and blazing rage, grief and love.”

You can find the original article HERE.  

As we continue to watch communities recover from disaster and acts of violence, and find ways to reduce the potential for harm from such incidents in the future, may we all find ways to peacefully “fight for life.” 

To learn more about UU responses to the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria visit https://www.uusc.org/uusc-response-to-the-earthquake-impacting-turkey-and-syria/

To learn more about the ways support is being offered to the MSU community and families visit https://eastlansinginfo.news/community-urged-to-reach-out-for-support-during-this-time-of-tragedy/

Blessings,  Aaron