Nov/Dec Prompt: Loving Across Difference

The submission deadline has been pushed back until December 28th! 

We live in an incredibly diverse world filled with billions of people who each hold beautiful and complex pieces of the divine within themselves. However, historically humans don’t always have a great track record with embracing difference and diversity. If learning how to love people well means learning how to love people despite, or even because of, our perceived differences, how do we do that? What does that process look like?

In scripture we are commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves, a radical and integral teaching that is consistently modeled for us in the life of Jesus. It is relatively easy to show love to people who are similar to us, but as Christians we are called to love people we don’t understand, and to break down the barriers that we set up in order to stay comfortable. We are called to put away our assumptions and engage with people whose backgrounds and worldview may be vastly different from our own.

Below are some questions to get you thinking about loving across difference and what that looks like for you. Feel free to reflect on one or many of these in your submission, or to share another question or thought that you this prompt brought up for you. Please check our submissions page for guidelines about written and visual submissions, and don’t hesitate to email us with your questions and comments at ignitedmag@gmail.com.  

–How do you show love to people who anger you? What is challenging or conflicting to you about loving your people you disagree with? How are you processing that?

–What does it mean to show love to people who don’t want it?

–How can we show love to people we will never meet? What does it mean to love people in a broad sense instead of in individual interactions?

–How is loving others a call to action, and how have you tried to respond to that call?

–What are some ways you like to show love to people?

–What is the Church’s role in love? Is it actively doing that?

–What does it mean to love people well, but also to stand up for what is right, especially when those two things seem to present a conflict? How do calling out injustice and encouraging people to examine their roles in unjust systems fit into our practices of loving one another in our interpersonal relationships?

–How have you challenged yourself to love and learn about people (individuals and groups) who are different from you?

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