From yellow T-shirts to banners, we’ve become known as the love people. Amidst the recent work of branding in the Unitarian Universalist Association (see new UUA chalice below), the Standing on the Side of Love campaign seems to be our most enduring recognition thus far. When we show up at demonstrations and witnesses or interfaith services with those bold yellow colors and LOVE written across our chests, invariably someone will say something akin to, “The love people are here!”
Among all the things we could be recognized for- this isn’t a bad one to be known for at all.
But what does it mean to be the love people?
Love as a spiritual value calls us to the edges of our comfort and the core of our being. It asks if we can act with an abiding integrity to treat people with worth and dignity even in the midst of extraordinary circumstance.
Love as a justice imperative calls us to the caverns of silence where humanity must be heard and then change spoken into being. Then love asks if we will not make enemies in the struggle but move toward the flow of justice.
Love is far from the easy work of cards and spoken words, but as a foundation for a people must be animated through action. Far from a neat to-do lis t of religious virtue, being the love people is as much an internal movement as an external one. In truth, even the most ideal actions can be done without love- the evidence is not found only in our completed actions but how doing better can make us better.
To be the love people calls us from ourselves out into the world. Far from an internalized spiritual movement, it is one built upon relationship. As we look at the major shifts in our world, it seems that relationship may very well be the crux of our survival. From climate change, multiculturalism, financial shifts and the realities of technological isolation, we will need to depend upon relationship to restore the balance and heal our world. Silo living will no longer be possible.
We as the love people are not the only key to the future. The world is a big place with many needs. But it may just be that we are a far more critical piece than we’ve been willing to admit—one that is far from the fluffy stuff of cards and words, but a piece that moves us from our core to the community.
Let us stand then, or rather move, toward the side of love.
In faith and love,