The other night I had a strange dream; I was helping to lead a worship service that just happened to be taking place at the camp where I used to work. (start your own interpretations here) During a pause in the worship service a group of loud folks came pouring out of the woods surrounding us jumping, skipping, smiling, all wearing the same t-shirt and pronouncing their love for us. I recognized their leader as he said to anyone who could hear, “Hey, I’m ______ (I can’t remember the name he said, but anyway…) and we just want to share some love with you!”
I will admit that I was more than a little upset that these folks had busted in during a worship service, but I was trying to let that go as I approached the leader. As I began to talk to him the people with him continued to be disruptive and I asked him who he was and why he had come. He told me that they were just looking to share their joy and minister to us. The more he talked, the more agitated I became, so I called over my colleague (who was also helping to lead the service and a person significantly more level headed than I) to take over this discussion, and I walked away.By this time the rest of the group of people with them had moved into a building near our worship space and were making a mess of the whole thing, there was trash everywhere and they were just laughing and joking with each other, and in my eyes being generally disrespectful of the worship space that we were in before they arrived. I looked around and put on my “camp counselor/youth director” hat trying to discern if this group was “on something”. I found nothing and then abruptly I woke up.
This dream got me to thinking, especially in regards to our church’s Lenten groups’ experience, about “choosing to love”. If we come into a situation in hopes of changing the other person, are we really choosing to love? It is true that through love we can change and we can affect change in others, but if our goal is to change them, I don’t know if we actually love them.
When we choose to accept someone for who they are, faults and all, we are choosing to love them. That does not mean that we have to agree with all of their decisions or think that maybe they should try things a different way, but it does mean that we can accept them for who they are, where they come from, and try to understand why they make the choices they make.
I know this isn’t an easy thing to do, in fact I don’t know if I do it very often, but I do know that in many cultures dreams are visions from God. So I thought I would share with you one of my dreams and hope that together we can figure out how to “Choose to Love“.