Agape Love

Ashes of Prejudice

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Have you ever had someone pre-judge you? You know the routine. Before you’ve exchanged ten words with one another you realize that the person you are just meeting has you all figured out. You meet a co-worker for the first time and she decides that you are worthy only of her criticisms for your style of clothing, your hair, your work habits. She decides, and verbally conveys, that you are lacking in class because you ride the bus to work or speak with an accent. Putting on my big-girl panties, I will refrain from evaluating the source of these cutting criticisms. Why? Because, drat it, I have done it myself.

Think about it. You meet someone who is intelligent and has charisma, and he reminds you of the last creep in your life who was handsome, intelligent and had enough freaking charisma to fill an auditorium. You never intended to develop a prejudice, you just did. He looks like, acts like … that other guy. Why would this fella be any different, eh?

Both scenarios require humility that’s got some fish and vinegar in it.

When someone has aggressively criticized you, only you as the offended can really offer them a chance to change their thinking. Make it easy on them. “Hey, I’m just wondering if I’ve done something offensive. Your evaluations of me seem harsh. It seems like you are kind of distressed….”

However, when you’ve quietly held a prejudice in your heart toward someone, it’s a little more difficult. You have to release them from that judgment, and decide in your heart that Big Hank is not Smooth Stanley after all. You would do well to let Big Hank be Big Hank for a while, i.e., not conclude who he is or how he’ll be with you or anyone else.

The point is this. Prejudice really kills friendships. The little overtures of kindness and the laughter that makes the days go by quickly … that’s all a little heap of ashes when we love our selves and our selfish opinions more than letting others be who they are. We suck all the air out of the room by trying to keep our little prejudices alive.

I’m preaching more to myself here, than anyone else, thank you very much. Love still covers a multitude of sins. Give it a whirl sometime.


Let Agape Lead the Way

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He was an old man. He knew that now. Unprepared for the winding road of life, he froze. He couldn’t find his way, really. Grasping for answers to the questions too deep and too bare, he grasped the bottle in his hand. It was the only thing that would stay.

She wouldn’t stay. He knew that now. He’d hurt her too deeply with cuts far too deep to stain with blood. The bruises he’d left with his steely words would never heal. They would, in fact, become her heart ache that would snatch at her life for the rest of her days. His vice grip on her heart would pain the windows of her soul until she, too would know she had to let him go.

The twisted tunnels of Life contorted a marriage whose walls once rang with laughter, and whose foundations once whispered about the way of Love. When Sorrow calls where will you go, and whose arms will grip you while you keen? When yawning Need and Lack knock at the door will you shout them down, or will they scratch at the screen far into the night until you let them in? One by one, they’ll steal their way in … abandonment, isolation, loneliness, greed and all their cousins. But seal the door you must. Let no one in who isn’t guided by Love’s keys.

Bow low before the Father. Kneel before one another. Let Agape lead the way.

— Agape: love without requirements