What Would Love Do

In the Garden of Gethsemane, moments before the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, a commotion ensued; Peter, a disciple of Jesus, drew his sword and sliced off an ear to one of the soldiers who was also in the company of Judas and who had come to arrest Jesus. But Jesus immediately touched the man’s ear and it was restored and healed. Jesus then said to Peter; “Do you think I cannot call on my father in heaven and ask for help? And he would send 12 (70000) legions of angels.” Mathew 26:53-54.In a way Jesus is asking Peter not intervene as He is fully capable of defending himself but chooses not to because this is how the scripture must be fulfilled.

First we see Jesus displaying unconditional love by healing an ‘enemy’ from a grotesque injury when he miraculously heals and restores his injured ear. Second we see Jesus admonishing Peter for his reaction towards the ‘enemy’, he lets Peter know that he has an army of angels at his disposal whom he can call on to help him wipe off the opposition but he deliberately chooses not to; this is also an expression of love as Jesus practices restraint on using the spiritual tools at his disposal to stop his imminent arrest. If say you were in Jesus position, full of knowledge that you are more powerful than your transgressors and foes, and they came at you with an intention to either capture you or to subdue you, how would you react, what would love to do?

In a Buddhist monastery during a retreat attended by pupils from across Japan, one pupil was caught by the other pupils in an act of stealing. The matter was reported to the master who deliberately looked the other side and ignored the case. Before long, the same pupil was yet again caught stealing; the matter was again presented before the master, this time with a request that the pupil be expelled, but the master for the second time disregarded the case. This infuriated the other pupils who wrote a petition threatening to leave as a group if the issue was not acted upon.

After reading the petition, the master called all the parties concerned so that he could address the issue. He said to them, “you are wise brothers, you know the difference between right and wrong; but this poor brother behaves this way because he has not fully understood the difference between right and wrong. Who will teach him if I do not? I am going to keep him here even if all the rest of you leave.” From this statement all the pupils present understood where the master was coming from, rather what he was trying to achieve by remaining calm on the issue. Again I challenge you, if say you were in the master’s shoe and a situation like this was presented before you, what could you have done? what would love do?

How many times have we overlooked situations in life where we were challenged to express the inherent love within us, because that’s what we are by virtue of being God’s children. How did you deal with an intruding neighbor, a nagging spouse, a difficult client, a stubborn child, a rude colleague, an uncompromising boss; situations that could easily drive you up the wall so to speak. Did you express love when resolving such situations, my challenge to you is that next time before you react to similar situations; you can begin by asking yourself, what would love do? Because as children of God who is an embodiment of love across all religions, this is what we are all called upon to express, in all our ways at all times.

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