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Loving the “WHO”

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By Angel Simmons ©

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Someone told me recently, “You can’t be mad at people for being who they are.” Those words resonated so loudly that I had to sit down that same evening and really put this past year into perspective. In light of my impressive list of blessings and accomplishments, there were still broken pieces of life to tip toe around in silence… pieces that weren’t even mine to pick up. I was reminded of the fragility of relationships and how we as a people, a culture, and a community STILL have yet to recognize the importance and value of one another’s presence. I could only count on one hand how many people I knew that had been enlightened to this truth and were actively preaching or teaching this “message”. I wondered why there weren’t more… why there wasn’t a hunger for change in how people are treated… why compassion and respect had yet to become the norm and the expectation. Then I remembered that my book wasn’t out yet.

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When I first began writing the book (Love’s Great Design– coming this January!), it came from a genuine desire to redesign how we look at, treat and respond to other people. I had witnessed so much loss in relationships between spouses, friends, and family that I was convinced that we ALL needed to be REPOGRAMMED. There was no possible way that the behavior we’d grown accustomed to could be the original blueprint for our interaction. Knowing that we were made in the very image and likeness of LOVE sent me straight to the source and His instruction manual seeking out new and more effective ways of seeing His people and how to live amongst them. How befitting to have been reminded of all this during the season of giving. The truth is some of the world is belting out joyous carols and annoyingly throwing around fistfuls of glitter and snowflakes. Others are stressed out, tired of spending money and walking around with their fists balled up daring you to “fa-la-la” just ONE more time. Some carry on selfishly, ignoring and hurting those who love them, while giving their time to strangers so they can feel better about themselves. And a great number of people are simply numb… fighting to get to January without breaking down or remembering what or who they’ve lost during the year. But THESE are the WHO that we’re called love and serve- every single day.

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So, how do we begin? Some of the best wisdom in how to handle people came to me about a year ago in a moment of frustration and anguish as I vented on the phone around midnight while sobbing in my car to my best friend about love and betrayal. She listened closely and waited patiently until I was done. Then she said to me, “Angel, NO ONE loves like YOU do. And because of this, you can’t expect for anyone to do what YOU’D do. They only know love from THEIR perspective… however screwed up it is. YOU are the TEACHER. So keep teaching.” Broken and all, people only know what they’ve been taught and how they were shaped through life experiences. Loving the “WHO” stretches you to look beyond the hurt, pain, selfishness, and pride that keep our hearts from receiving the love that transforms us into the image we were created in. The fact is, WE are “Love’s Great Design”- reconstructing mindsets, restoring culture, and rebuilding ideologies of love that society has perverted and polluted for far too long. In essence, WE begin by BECOMING the new model!

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December 21, 2016

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