Love is on my mind.
You’ve heard the expressions.
Love thy neighbor.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love makes the world go round.
Love is a many splendored thing.
All you need is love.
Love lifts us up where we belong.
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
When I was in Catholic school, the nuns taught me God loved all his children. Were you taught that? And I remember learning that we should love the earth and all of God’s creation. I took this very seriously as a child.
You can see where this is going, right? The realization that grownups try to convince kids of things that they apparently do not mean, that love is hard, and all that.
Every day I learn a bit of news that does not fill me with me love. In fact, plenty of stories on the Internet drop kick love to the curb. I’m not going to love people who decapitate their fellow humans or abuse animals or any of the many, many horrors people perpetrate on each other and the world.
So, with all the actual ugliness that goes on every day, I find it baffling that people feel so threaten by who is allowed to get married. Two people fall in love, they want to make a public commitment to each other, and they want to participate in a long-standing social institution (founded on property and power, but okay), and you’re entire belief system is under attack by baking them a cake? As my mother always said, “You can tell how fragile people are by their over-the-top-reactions.”
A happy couple walks into your shop, ready to hand you their hard-earned money so that they can celebrate their commitment to each other with all the people who love them, and this couple thinks that you are talented and good at your job and you will be happy at their happiness because love is a grand and beautiful thing. But you find you can’t be gracious or kind or generous of spirit. Apparently, you see sinners and the gates of hell. Apparently, your God will not like you anymore if you bake a cake for this couple. Your world is threatened by this couple. You must not make a cake for this couple! Part of me thinks, fine. Don’t make the cake. Don’t be a part of someone else’s happiness. Grasp your ingredients and your bowls and your righteousness close to you. You don’t deserve a place at the wedding.