One early morning, Sarah posted a random status update on The Torch Facebook page. She said:
2am thoughts...so many people out there need help and can't get it for one reason or another. Agencies are over extended, they don't qualify, etc. What if we loved each other so radically people no longer had to go to agencies for help? What if we just helped each other out? What if we did with less so others could have more? What if we judged less and helped more?
One of our followers answered, “Then people wouldn't feel so completely lost.”
That comment resonated with me. What a painful life to walk around this earth feeling completely lost. There have been a few times in my life when I felt lost and completely alone - even though there were people with me. I keep thinking how Sarah’s words shouldn't paint a picture of a Utopian world - that post should not have been a profound status which elicited such a deep response from a reader. This is a very tough world to live in. The struggle to survive beyond existence and to pursue the American dream often takes precedence over everything else. Yet it is possible, even if you appear to be achieving the dream life, to feel completely lost. We are a society which verbalizes the importance of people over material possessions, but in reality, our possessions quite often rank far higher in value than the lives of the human beings whose paths we cross.
We don’t love people. Most of the time we don’t even try to muster the tiniest bit of affection for anyone who is not a part of our immediate circle of family and friends. We snarl and swear and curse at the idiots cutting us off in traffic. We often snicker behind the backs of those who are different from us. One time I was on a school trip - with a bunch of eighth graders. We were standing in line to visit the place we were at. It was a very long line, with an hour wait. We were near a park, and there was a homeless man sleeping on a bench in the park. A large group of students decided it would be funny to go pose all around him and take pictures. They were cracking themselves up. Most of the adults in the group were watching them and laughing, too. I told the students to knock it off, but they didn't listen, after all, their mockery was being affirmed by the other adults in the group. None of those individuals saw a homeless MAN there. They saw an object, something abstract and unrelated to them which provided a humorous photo op.
So, who was more completely lost? The man who slept on the bench in the park where thousands of strangers passed by uncaring? Or the teens and adults who had no capacity to care - who mocked instead? I don’t know if it is worse to be completely lost in this world and not even recognize it, or to fully know it and fully give up. Both are equally lost. Both are in need of some radical love.
I don’t think what Sarah and I have done with The Torch should be an exception, it should be the rule. We should all try to love more. We should try to figure out how to radically love, to the point where it inconveniences our lives and affects our pocketbooks. Our love should be so radical we lose sleep over trying to figure out how to do more. We should walk around focusing our attention on the needs of other people. So what if we have to get up early? So what if we already have to work all day, and then find ourselves committed to helping others at night? So what if we really would prefer to save our money to purchase things for ourselves? So what?
Radical love should overcome all those obstacles. Radical love should open our eyes to see there are people walking around completely lost. Radical love should allow us to do with less so others can have more. Radical love should soften our hearts, and overwhelm us with compassion. Radical love should fill us with a desire to make life easier for others. Radical love should not let anyone we come in contact with continue to feel completely lost. Radical love should make our hearts beat with passion to change from a materialistic, selfish, cliquey society - to a community of sharing, acceptance, and wholeness.
Radical love shouldn't be radical. It should be the only kind of love there is. Especially if you call yourself a Christian.