Called to Love

By Isaiah DuPree
(To watch a video of Isaiah DuPree’s “Called to Love,” click here.)

We are called to love

I call upon our congregation, our community, our city, our country, our world in these times of uncertainty to whole heartedly and unapologetically love…and it must require all that we are.

We need the kind of love that renews you. The kind of love that pulls you out of panic. From fear and despair.

The kind of love that filled the woman in the Pharisee’s house as she prepared Jesus for his death, and washed his feet with her tears and hair

For a love wrapped in goodness a love radiant with light

that declares itself by morning and its faithfulness by night

If Jesus’s life was a flame that burns to this day then surely love was its spark

that made calm out of chaos and brought the dawn out the dark

We need the kind of love that like art can move you, the soul’s outcry that punctuates our resistance

the kind of love that is persistent like how Jesus went closer to the leper in Galilee despite his warnings that he was unclean, we need a love so bold it molds a legacy, a love so strong it sees itself through leprosy

We need the kind of love for our community that doesn’t just lazily accept that your gender and sexuality cannot be stoned to death but joins us in protecting ourselves from those who think it can who try to break us erase us and chain us with shame but fail to recognize our liberation cannot be contained

We need the kind of love that can proudly proclaim black lives matter that would demand justice and mourn if a Black person is murdered instead of spinning up reasons as to why they deserved it

the kind of love that is earnest and steadfast at your worst and your best

that turns over tables of gamblers in temple and protests the elite like how Jesus did the Pharisees the kind of love that stays in the streets in solidarity ’til its feet grow roots and its fist turns to stone, sayin refugees welcome home, stand tall like Lady Liberty

We need the kind of love that makes tranquility from turmoil and finds the gold in ones grief

the kind of love that sets aside beliefs and trusts women to make decisions for their own bodies that doesn’t ban refugees… then bomb their countries

But if your love is your resistance and you love with all you do, understand that the antithesis exists and this may cost you. It may result in your punishment may brutalize and accost you, may exhaust you, ensure that you do not rest, until they kill you in front of your kids like how they did Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. They may harass and arrest you, isolate denigrate undermine and detest you, try to extinguish your light, like how they tried to do Martin who saw the Promised Land from mountaintops, a man with love so legendary it cost him his life

they may strike you torture you for three days decide in a kangaroo court you must be crucified for the dangers of your ways they may chain and debase you march your naked bleeding body through the streets humiliate you – braid thorns into your head

hammer nails into your hands and feet shove a spear into your side leave you to die but tell me is it not love personified for Jesus through anguish the ultimate love remained true, looked up to God through his own blood and said ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do’

If you are to be consumed by one thing, let it be love. A love everlasting a love rooted so deep that even me, a scattered storm, a hurricane with a heartbeat, could one night lay my head at God’s feet for my dreams to be anointed with peace. Let it be…love. To surround us in serenity and let our souls be still, let love be the prophecy we are called to fulfill.

And the day may arrive when in your heart He may rise and say it is I, who has returned and calls upon you once more…to love.