“Love, done right, in the style of Jesus, is hard because it takes you outside your comfort zone – culturally, religiously and socially… It’s Jesus not choosing the comfortable, affirming life of an echo chamber built by other lower-middle-class carpenters from Bethlehem who could resonate with all his experiences and opinions, nor hanging out with religious leaders civilly debating the theological issues of the day – it was thrusting himself out into the world where he shouldn’t have fit in, didn’t belong and didn’t share their experiences or paradigm.

It’s choosing to be with people where the conversation doesn’t flow naturally, where there are cultural barriers to overcome, where you don’t have the shared experiences and perspectives on life that make relationships easy. It’s choosing to persist when it’s hard, tiring, confusing and when what you’re seeing and hearing doesn’t fit nicely into the paradigm you started with. It’s allowing that to shape or even blow apart the way you once saw the world. 

This is love and this is what is supposed to set us apart. It is not the path of least resistance, as Jesus found out. 

Love is always harder than segregation. Inclusion is always harder than safe distance – because it challenges the way you’ve made sense of the world.”