(Photo by Selma Komisky)
The Diversity of Love
By Brandon Harrison
“LOVE NEVER FAILS,” is a cute bumper sticker or tattoo, but when it comes to living it out in our everyday lives, it is a whole different ball game. I am a husband, father of three kids, a brother, a son, an uncle, a pastor and a friend. I have seen the diverse ways that love is shown.
As a husband, love must keep no record of wrong. I can’t hold a grudge about every little thing my wife does if I truly want to have a healthy relationship. As a dad, love must be patient. In this quarantine season, our 3 kids have been pushing each other’s buttons a lot, but I have to be patient with them and help them work out their problems together. As a brother, love must be consistent. My younger brother and I are in different seasons of life. Now as adults, with the loss of our father, I have seen the need for consistent love that we both need to show each other during this challenging season. I’ve learned that love manifests itself in so many different ways in our lives, and it is so important to keep that in the forefront of our minds.
Love is not always the lovey dovey, Instagramable date night. Sometimes love shows itself in the form of sitting and listening to a friend as they go through a challenging time. Love is encouraging our children when they are getting frustrated in school. Love is showing our spouse that we appreciate all that they have done around the house to make it a great environment, in spite of quarantine and distance learning. The ultimate example of how to show love is by none other than God. He demonstrates what true love is.
One of my favorite verses on love is Romans 8:38, “NOTHING can separate us from God’s love.” Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us. That is so encouraging to me because in 2020 I felt that God’s love was not as deep in our hearts as a nation as I thought. Seeing the racial tensions rise and so much division really made me wonder if people truly knew that we are all made in the image of God and we are all loved by God. This verse of Romans 8:38 made me see that within our diversity, our lack of understanding of each other, our political divides, and even religious divides, that GOD STILL LOVES US. He said nothing can separate us from His love. It reminded me that every person God has made on this earth has His love in them, and He loves them as well.
It is a concept that challenged me because it felt overwhelming to see so much divide, but God said his love is bigger than any racial or political division. Love truly does cover a multitude of sin and that is how God wants us to walk in this world with our brothers and sisters who don’t look like us, vote like us, or think like us. God’s love is the only thing that can bring unity within our diversity. Love is such a powerful force that God has given us, because God IS love, and He has given us His spirit. We are able to walk in love, even in times when we don’t think we are able to.
For me, leading with love is a core value of mine. God has made me sensitive to others because we are all going through something that people don’t know. Last year when the pandemic started, the churches shut down, my kids’ schools closed down, and I was trying to just figure out which way was up and which way was down. Life was getting crazy. Then March 28, 2020, my dad suddenly passed away. I remember feeling so lost and overwhelmed with all the sudden changes that were happening in my home, my family and our country; the love of God and the love of people is what God gave me through it. I had so many people who sent loving cards, text messages, encouragement and that is what kept me going. At a time when I felt my lowest, it was LOVE that lifted me. You never know what people are going through, so I want to encourage you, it is never a bad time to show someone some love. We all need it. Get lost in the love of God, and you will see it overflow from your life in diverse ways, and other people will be lifted by your love! Remember, God loves you and always will!