Love Transforms

Rev. Karen Madrone, August 24, 2023

What does Love call us to do?

This is the constant question we should be holding in front of us as Unitarian Universalists. I try to think of it in terms of these questions:

In this situation, how can I be more loving? What would love look like in relationship to this person or situation? If I’m in disagreement with someone, is there something that I need to apologize for? Is there a way I could listen better for what this person needs from me?

Sometimes love calls us to “just” listen (I put just in quotes because “just” listening is not easy or passive). Sometimes love calls us to change our behavior. Sometimes love calls us to change our minds about something or someone.

Love in community is a verb. It is truly an action word. Love is sacrifice and sometimes it is holding boundaries. Love requires us to be able to discern the difference. Love can look like being with a loved one while their beloved is dying, showing up for family members at a memorial service even when you didn’t know the deceased, and staying in touch with family and friends months later after a loss so they know they are not forgotten.

To be honest, love does not come easy for me. Although I am a minister, love is not my first instinct. Because I grew up in a dysfunctional household, my first instinct is self-preservation. But, with a lot of spiritual development – learning to trust what I do not yet know – and personal development – I’ve learned to recognize when I want to go into self preservation. I learned to ask myself, “Is it true that I am unsafe in this moment?” Most of the time, I am perfectly safe. And if that is so, perhaps instead of turning within, I can turn without and offer love and inclusion. My UU faith has been a big part of my own healing journey. My hope for UUs individually and all of us collectively is to keep moving towards love wherever we can because that is what we are here for.

More love is the heart of Universalism and what I wish for you.