September 9, 2020

I came across this quote from Richard Rohr, “In short, good leaders must have a certain capacity for thinking beyond polarities and tapping into full, embodied knowing (prayer). They have a tolerance for ambiguity (faith), an ability to hold creative tensions (hope), and an ability to care (love) beyond their own personal advantage.”

Rohr, by adding in parentheses the italicized words faith, hope, and love, adds flesh and clarity to what Paul emphasized in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three, and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13 is planted smack dab in between two chapters about spiritual gifts to emphasize the primacy of love over all else. God, after all, “is love” (1 John 4:8). Love is the first fruit or gift of the Spirit. Love is “patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”

I need to be honest, with myself and with you, that when I read Rohr’s quote, I immediately thought about the presidential candidates.  I pray that we will keep the rubric of the faith, hope, and love in mind as we vote. But I recognize that it is also a mirror to hold up to myself. Because I do go off, if not out loud, then loudly in my mind with my own polarizing comments. In this season, I grow tired of ambiguity. I can go quickly from hope to despair. While I want to love beyond those who agree with me, it isn’t always easy, at least on the inside. I am a leader, a model for others, in the church, in the community, and especially in my family. Lord have mercy! 

Paul’s closing message in the “love chapter” include these words, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I only know in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.” This knowing in part is humbling, to say the least. And so I pray that I will abide in “faith, hope, and love; these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

Praying for the grace to love ever deeper, broader, wider, all. ~ Anne

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