Daily Reflection
March  3rd, 1999
Jeanne Schuler
Jeremiah 18:18-20
Matthew 20:17-28

When I look for the thread that holds so much of life together, it is the thread of love: learning or seeking or failing to love.  Is it all about love?  Love: the cheapest coin of the realm, the hucksterís cry, the confetti, the dye on sugar hearts.  Love.  Yeah, yeah.  Less personal than the classifieds, the quest, the hope, the snicker:  Iíve been there.  Iíve said it.  Iíve given it away.  Outlasting the cynicism, coming back for one more knock on the door.  Will I open?  Will this weary heart creep out of hiding?  Love.  Our deepest reality.  Our deepest suspicion.

With so much hype, itís a wonder we ever learn to love, but it happens.  Families and friends stand by us through the years, the arms that donít give out, the ones we trust with our fears and failures.  Our frozen hearts thaw and the miracle happens: we are known and loved.

But the circle of love must be widened.  There is more to learn.  The sons of Zebedee wanted glory and recognition, but the way of love lies elsewhere.  ďIf you want to follow me, you must give your life awayĒ...not just to the ones I trust, but to those others: the wounded, the stranger, the whispering crowd, the angry colleagues, the ones I ran from in the first place.

God, how do I possibly love outside the safe circles when I am in the strangerís den, the perilous workplace or gossipy neighborhood where misunderstandings slip into long, hard memories?  How do I protect myself and still live your truth, show my face, encounter the smallness of our lives with honesty, prudence, forgiveness and maybe the laugher that you are even there?  How do I give myself away without disappearing?  You promised that in love we would be found, not lost.  Show me.

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