A Letter to Love
A Letter to Love

A Letter to Love

October 17 th 2019
Appears in Fall 2019

Dear Love,

Have you noticed how easily people seem to claim my work for yours lately? To be blunt, I am as offended as I am proud. You may be the star of today’s vernacular, but you’ve become nearly obsolete in practice. And me? Well, I have become a master of disguise and am soaking in how easily they seem to be drawn toward me, especially when I pose as you.

I have convinced them that you look like a tribe who protects their own and becomes insular. So, when their idea of you is threatened, bam! I have ’em. They begin to defend what they believe is you, as they slowly grow to hate anything else. And, as you know, hate and I are quite compatible. I’d even go so far as to say hate is the natural result of my presence.

I have wormed my way into the ethos of what was once your territory. Instead of kindness to all, I have convinced them that it is only worthwhile to be kind to those with whom they agree. Instead of looking for goodness, truth, and beauty in all, they now believe it is most like you to stand with those who are like them and stand against everyone else. And they call it you!

I’ve convinced them that you come with conditions; this is one of the most useful features of my version of you. Unconditional . . . the very idea is threatening. I shudder at the thought! It’s not right, humane, or just. Instead of patience for process, growth, and change, I have assured them that true change is instantaneous and anything else is a lie. Instead of humility, I have wooed them to believe that the most like you they could possibly be is to be right. This keeps them from being correctable, open, or thoughtful.

I’ve taken this unbearable idea of perseverance and have persuaded them that it is too hard. Now they think that to comfort another person you have to affirm where that person is; you can never hint at the possibilities of growth or change. And, now, no one carries a healing map. All they want is permission to remain right in the comfort of their slowly warming pot, which is nearing its boiling point and, like the frog not recognizing the heat, will soon destroy them.

I have done a masterful work, of which I am very proud. I thought I would thank you for being an ideal I could twist to make my own. It seems to be going well for me.

Faithfully Theirs,

Fear

Cari Jenkins
 
Cari Jenkins

Cari Jenkins is the executive director of Urban Skye, an organization envisioning cities where every person has a pastor and every tribe a priest. Meeting groups and individuals in everyday spaces, Urban Skye associates offer presence, spiritual direction, and spacious places as people navigate life. She is the author of Listen and Live, and is a freelance writer, speaker, occasional blogger, and lover of the table. She gathers over five hundred people around her own table each year. Cari lives in Englewood, Colorado, and can be found at http://www.carijenkins.me, where she occasionally blogs about living life with authenticity, generosity, and love.

Bio

Download and Share Articles From The Comment Reader

An introduction to Public Theology for the Common Good

Want more of the same fresh, thought-provoking content delivered right to your inbox once a week?