Loving in spite of the pain

/ 16 November 2015

Love brings pain. I think that is perhaps one of the deepest and most true statements of my life. And this week, as we continue to mourn those who have died in terror attacks, can we also remember the love that needs to bind us together?

In the StarTribune this morning it was reported that Dan Kimmel, who had been running for the state legislature, has been forced out of the race due to a tweet he sent out this weekend. His crime? Noting that ISIS is made up of people doing what they think is best for their community — and at the same time, he noted that violence is not the answer. He dared to suggest that the human beings of ISIS might be acting from their own understanding of the world.

Yes, what ISIS is doing is evil — but none of us are exempt from at least cooperating with evil, if not in fact directing it. Can we dare to recognize that? I applaud Kimmel for his honesty and his courage, and I believe that the DFL is wrong to have forced him out.

I find Omid Safi’s words so powerful and so true today. He writes at length, but here are just a few excerpts:

"No, the answer to ISIS’s violence and hatred cannot be more hatred and more ignorance. We have to transcend this hatred through something more beautiful and loftier: a call for universal love, and a holistic sense of justice." "I don’t have the answers to ISIS, or how to defeat them. But I do know this: at the end of the day, love and unity will have the victory. If we are to get there, we have to remain fully human. If we close our hearts to love, to each other, to nature, to God, we have already lost. If we close our hearts to one another, we have already lost."