Love Don't Need A Reason
by the Reverend Noel E. Bordador
Let me begin with a personal sharing. As many of you know, I am a social worker. A couple of days ago, we buried a client of mine, Robert. Robert and I worked together for about five years and I believe that God has brought him into my life. Robert has taught me to love life. Robert taught me to be thankful for life even though, at times, it is hard to do so. Life, for Robert, was never easy, but he never gave up on God or life. He always found the faith to believe even and the will and tenacity to live amidst challenges of life- be it homelessness, addiction, prison or even AIDS.
Shortly before he died, he made a passing lament that he did not have a girlfriend to love him. I told him, “Robert, for whatever it’s worth: we were together for five years and I want to say I love you.” And he started laughing. It is indeed surprising that Robert and I clicked so well because we are just so different, we are just poles apart in terms of interest or life experience or background. I suspect that were it not for God who brought us together in these last five years, Robert and I probably would never seek each other's company. Yet, despite our differences, God has brought us together, and in many ways, God blessed me with the life of this man. And I hope that somehow, in my imperfect and bumbling ways, I have made some difference in the life of Robert. But what if I did not open my heart to make room for this man in my life, a man who was totally different from me? Then it would have been tragic…tragic that I would miss one of God’s blessings. God’s blessings come in gift packages that are perhaps not often attractive to us.
We have somehow learned that there must be a reason or reasons to love someone. So we set up criteria by which we judge those we must love, and those we should exclude from our love. We have learned that there are some who are worthy of love, while others we can ignore. We have learned to love only those who are like us and at the same time, we’ve learned to close our lives from those who are different from us or we find unlikable for whatever reason. But what, for the moment, we lay aside our prejudices and judgments and open our hearts to those we would like to dismiss? Then perhaps, we might just find them to be God’s blessings.
There is a beautiful song that was composed in the 80s at the height of the AIDS crisis that began in the early part of that decade. AIDS tested the limits of love. People living with this awful disease were suffering from rejection, from society at large, and from their families and friends. A song artist Michael Callen and his friends wrote a song, Love Donít Need a Reason, which pleaded to the world to lay aside their prejudices and judgments, and embrace and love the one they find contemptible. We need not reason out why we need to love someone. Love is its own incomprehensible reason. Love just is.
your heart always did what a normal heart should do
If you always play a part instead of being who you really are
Then you might just miss the one who’s standing there
So instead of passing by, show him that you care
Instead of asking why, “Why me? And why you?
Why now we two?”
Love don’t need a reason
Love don’t always rhyme
And love is all we have for now
If we always believe the madness we we’re taught
Never questioning the rules, then we’re living lies
We bought so long… (excerpt)
God has given each one of us a heart to love. It is through our hearts by which he comes to show love and compassion to the world. As God is generous beyond our imaginings, this gift of love is something we must extend to not to a worthy few, but to everyone regardless of our natural inclination or prejudices and reasonings to reject or exclude. Jesus tells us in the Gospel today not to dismiss anyone who we would rather not associate with. Jesus tells us in the Gospel today to extend hospitality, compassion and love to those who are easy for us to ignore or dismiss. But Jesus does not give any reason for this. For love simply is. Love don’t need a reason, love don’t always rhyme. But what we got is heart to love. Simply use it. Simply give love away.
Here around this Table, the Lord Jesus welcomes everyone without discrimination. Despite our past mistakes and sins, despite our present injustices towards one another, here around this Table, in this feast, God welcomes us with love and forgiveness. God turns no one away. This kind of love and hospitality is beyond our comprehension. Why? Why would God squander his love on us? God’s love need no reason, God’s love don’t always rhyme with human reason. God simply is…LOVE BEYOND HUMAN DESCRIPTION. Likewise, it is the same radical hospitality we must extend to everyone, without prejudice, without discrimination. For love don’t need a reason.
May God bless you with discomfort…
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
God bless you with anger…
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
God bless you with tears…
To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.
may God bless you with enough foolishness…
To believe that you can make a difference in this world.
So that you can do
What others claim cannot be done.
© 2009 Noel E. Bordador
The Reverend Noel E. Bordador is a queer Filipino Episcopal worker-priest in the Diocese of New York.
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