By Alicia Crosby
Contrary to images projected onto screens and words offered through lyric, love is not mere emotion. Love is decisive and responsive, its first means of engagement and movement come through the act of listening.
Love inclines its ear to another, positioning itself to hear their need.
It’s important to hold on to thoughts of how love causes us to posture ourselves in this season. If we aren’t careful, we can easily find ourselves allowing ideologies and political leanings to pit us against one another, our words and tightly held beliefs forming impenetrable barriers guarded by our defensiveness.
I’ve been taught that committing to love is a commitment to prioritizing the needs and concerns of whoever is on the receiving end of that love, whether that be God, another, or oneself. How can we know the needs of another (or ourselves) if we don’t still ourselves to listen?
Perhaps it is in the space where we position ourselves to center whomever we are imparting love to that we hear the anxieties and fears behind their commitments. Maybe it’s there that we see their suffering, loss, grief or pain. Maybe it is in this space where we position ourselves to truly hear them that ideologies, platforms, and talking points fall away and we see another whose deepest desire is to be seen and to be loved.
What does a love that listens position us to do? The possibilities are endless when creativity meets our sense of compassion.
So let your love listen so that it might disrupt the things that would dam peace, joy, harmony, and the community that you are called to enter into. Let the love that listens interfere.
Alicia Crosby is Executive Director & Co-Founder of Center for Inclusivity (CFI), a Chicago-based nonprofit that works to foster inclusive communities through public forums for thoughtful dialogue where people of all faiths, genders, and sexual identities can learn and seek to be fully known. You can follow CFI’s work online via www.centerforinclusivity.org. To check out Alicia’s personal musings visit her blog Chasing The Promise or follow her on Twitter (@promisechaser).