Bishop Michael Curry celebrated the power of love in his royal sermon, reminding us that love is the source of our lives for joy and for healing. He identified the source of love as God Himself, a message that is uncommon in our public square for at least a generation. As our western world has turned secular, we have largely turned away from respectful conversation. Our language with each other sounds more like entitlement and resentment whether it is in the media or in private.
As a marriage and family counselor, I can attest to how widespread anger is amongst all relationships, whether it be romantic couples, parents and children, between siblings and amongst neighbors. It is not that anger is unreasonable. In fact, it is inevitable in any relationship. What happens for many people is that resentment gets stuck and unresolved.
Without a perspective that we all come from the same infinite, loving source, we have no reason to hear the anguished heart of our brother, partner, child or parent as equal to our own heart. For some, it is hard to speak up and value our own voice as equal. These are the conversations that are underneath emotional pain and accusations of unfairness.
Sharing our vulnerability and hearing the other is how we discover and solve our problems together. Bishop Curry’s words, “When we love we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook.”
We have forgotten as a culture how to do this. We do not talk to each other about our differences and seek common ground. We seek people who are like-minded and reinforce our point of view. Our leaders do the same. There is no spirit of community where we trust that we can be heard and that our needs will be respected.