Debby over at Living in Graceland wrote this post yesterday. She and her husband are Salvation Army "workers." Sorry Debby....ministers? Such a beautiful post about reaching out to the broken in body and spirit.
This post in particular made me think of the various forms that harm reduction can take. I don't think I could ever inject my girl or anyone for that matter, who was too sick to do it themselves. However, I am thinking harm reduction can take on many forms...kind of a semantics sort of thing. I think the bottom line of harm reduction is that it is based on unconditional love and not judgement and condemnation. We could change the terminology and call it something not so trendy....something that is steeped in the ages, something like "unconditional love." Or "long-suffering." Or "patience." Or "acceptance." "Unmerited favor."
1 Corinthians 13:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of
prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all
faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails;
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
We extend a hand to those in need, no matter how they got to where they are. We love others because we were first loved...even in our messes. We love them even when they aren't able to love themselves. We show them a path out.....if they choose to follow that path or not, is up them. Where the trick is for me is that if what I suggest isn't chosen....do I stop relationship? Do I cut off contact? Or do I keep on loving, do I accept the person as they are, where they are at in their journey? Accepting THEM does not mean I condone their behavior.Christ calls us to love the unlovely....how do we do that without enabling, without getting in the way of the plan that God has for our loved one, without forfeiting our own boundaries that preserve our own mental health and our well being?
I naturally lean towards compassion. To a fault. So this has the potential to be a slippery slope for me. I am just thinking out loud here....finding my own balance.
Thanks for "listening."