Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Transferable (?) Love

This past weekend, Hannah and I took a trip to Nashville.

I simply wanted to get out of Chicago for a bit. Hannah wanted to see her mama and introduce me to Old Hickory, Tennessee.

We had fun. I met Hannah's grandparents and they fed me an excellent meal (which included platanos maduros and homemade flan).

 I saw Mandy again--she is a friend of Hannah's who I met a little over a month ago when she visited Chicago. In the company of her mother, sister, best friend, and mother's friend, I watched Hannah get her 7th tattoo. I saw the sights of Nashville and had several meaningful conversations with my gal. It was good.

The most significant part of the weekend, however, was that I was well- loved by Hannah's family and friends and I knew I was receiving this love mainly because Hannah is loved. I couldn't help but meditate on this.

Because Hannah’s mother and sister love her so much, they were happy to act as my tour guides, to drive me to the At&t store when my phone stopped working, to fix me tea in the morning before church, and to call me “honey.”  

Because Mandy and her husband, Rocky love Hannah so much, they were happy to welcome me into their home and to have me play with their children (one of whom complimented my braids endlessly, gave me kisses, told me she was falling in love with me, and declared that we were going to get married). Mandy greeted me like an old friend. Rocky shared an amazing dessert with me.

That they all showed me so much love (and there were many more examples of this than I will list) because Hannah values me and they love Hannah was just remarkable to me. It was important because their love trumped their lack of wholehearted approval of or comfort with my relationship with Hannah.

And as I write this I’m thinking that it was all very Kingdom-like and a good example for me. I should be more intentional about loving people well, regardless of whether I approve of or agree with them, taking the fact that they are very loved by God (who I love) as reason enough. I've frequently stated/ communicated with others that my reason for believing that everyone deserves to receive dignity and justice, to have their voices heard, and to just be treated well is because everyone is made in God’s image. This makes each person as equally and infinitely valuable as the other. Too often that’s just an abstract idea--one that I like to discuss but can forget to practice in my day to day living. This weekend was a good reminder to love for the sake of Love and a beautiful illustration of how to do just that.  

Thank you Abuelos de Hannah, Michelle, Renee, Rachel, Stella, Mandy, Rocky, Dave, and Andrea for teaching me well this weekend.