Day Twenty-Eight Reflection
This is What Love Looks Like
Reflection By Jan Kwiatkowski
Facebook and other social media platforms have an amazing capacity to keep people connected, from sharing family pictures, cute kitten videos, humor, information, inspiration, to planning events, social media has tremendous power to connect. I’ve also seen the potential social media has to empower people to objectify, distance, and disconnect—such as when one person “unfriends” or “blocks” a family member or friend following a disagreement. Whether it’s a momentary reaction or a more permanent choice, blocking or being blocked is a powerful rejection of a relationship and our human capacity to heal and forgive.
In the Gospel passage that is read each year on Maundy Thursday, we have the familiar and beautifully intimate story of the Last Supper and Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Jesus knew that one of his disciples would betray him to those who would crucify him. Jesus knew that Peter would deny him three times. Jesus knew that those whom he loved most in this world would abandon and hurt him the most deeply. And yet Jesus still chose to show up for the Passover meal.
Jesus could have made any number of other choices. He could have chosen to “block” himself from his disciples and the hurt that was to come. He could have unfriended his beloved friends and not shown up to dinner. But he was willing to break bread with the people who would hurt him the most. He, as master and teacher, was willing to take the servant position and wash the feet of those who would hurt and betray him. Jesus didn’t have to do any of this … except that this is what love looks like. And Jesus was willing to risk for the power of love.
We are human. We have been hurt, and we have caused hurt. It is a painful and challenging part of our human experience. While we cannot escape the hurt, we do have a choice about what we do with it. Forgiveness, especially when we have been deeply hurt by those we love the most, is a process. Sometimes, it can be a long process. And that is okay. In order to fully forgive, we have to fully acknowledge the depth of the hurt, and that can take time.
The important thing is to show up and be willing to engage and work with whatever the process of forgiveness is in our own lives. The important thing is to not “block” the possibility of forgiveness.
When we have been deeply hurt, sometimes the most honest prayer is: “Help me be willing to show up and work the process of forgiveness that is ahead of me.” A healthy first step could be to humbly and humanly acknowledge that we need to ask for help to be willing to do what love requires us to do.
Making it Personal: Is there someone or some situation in your life that you hope one day to choose to forgive? How might you pray about your hurt and being willing to forgive? Is there a person in your life that you hope, one day, will be willing to choose to forgive you? How might you pray about this today?
Follow along with us on our retreat with our daily reflection and engage in discussion in our closed facebook group moderated by The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner, Creator of Living Compass Wellness Initiative, The Rev. Mary Bea Sullivan, Chair of the Commission on Spirituality, Ms. Kathy Graham, Coordinator of Lifelong Christian Formation and The Rev. Kelley Hudlow, Coordinator of Communications.
In this group, participants will have a chance to share their responses to the prompts in the daily readings, and also the chance to receive additional material for reflection.