“Love is the very foundation of truth. Without love, truth crashes, a clanging cymbal. . . . Love is the language of truth, and grace is the dialect of God, and truth is only understandable if spoken with understanding love.”- Ann Voskamp
“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”- John 13:34-35 (NIV)
In Ann Voskamp’s Introduction to Rich Villodas’ second book, Good and Beautiful and Kind: Becoming Whole in a Fractured World, she questions the way we live John 13:34-35. Furthermore, Ann wonders, how often do we take Christ’s love mandate and make if a flimsy, take-it-or-leave-it suggestion?
Above all, Ann points out, Christ’s people haven’t been immune in the turmoil of these times. And when circumstances around us most demand it, Christians experience dramatic failures in loving like Jesus.
Certainly, discouragement is natural, and despair tempting. So, what must we do to find a new way forward? The first step involves attentiveness, the beginning of receptiveness.
Moving on to his Introduction, Rich Villodas observes that goodness, beauty, and kindness are three:
- things we long for
- signs of a life well-lived
- realities of God’s presence
However, goodness, beauty, and kindness often fail to mark our love. Instead, we mark our lives with reactivity, impatience, judgmentalism, and the inability to hold space with one another.
Yet, our good, beautiful, and kind God made us in love and for love. Therefore, the fractures within and around us cause great discomfort. Because our souls desire bonds of belonging and belovedness.
In conclusion, Rich cites the poem Tired, a timeless work by Langston Hughes. Rich notes that the words speak the language of depth, not division. Thus, Rich desires that we see the worms that we often fail to notice. Then, Pastor Villodas offers a vision of what we can become if we allow God to work in and through us.
Today’s question: Do you view grace as the dialect of God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Abandoning the language of sin?”