Love Really Is Enough ‘IF’ We Know What Love Is


I once noticed a huge (two inches wide by three inches long) blistering sore on a twelve year old girl’s shoulder. I asked her how she had gotten the injury. She said that she received it while being restrained at school a week earlier. I was shocked and abhorred.

The anger welled up inside of me. Even now as I write this I can feel the feelings of anger, sadness, and pity. How could this happen to a very small twelve-year-old little girl, who has already been through nearly every horror that can be inflicted upon a child? How can a child in a system of “education and care” continue to be exposed to abusive adults? We simply don’t know what love is. In fact, a person that tells you love is not enough is a person essentially telling you that he doesn’t know what love is. Rather, what is meant is that love is too scary. In the midst of stress and fear we can’t trust that love is enough, so rather than acknowledging this fact of our own fear, we try to make it seem like its love that’s lacking, rather than our courage to trust love. Scripture says “Perfect love cast out all fear, because fear brings torment.” It is important for us to consider that when we make such strong statements as love is not enough we must look closer at where the torment lies in our lives. For if we see torment, if we are experiencing it, then it’s not the love that’s not working, it’s the fact that we aren’t experiencing love in that moment.
Love is not easy. It is the straight and narrow. It is the path that few will go. It is not for the weak of mind, heart, or spirit. It is for the brave, the courageous, and the bold.

I’m continually amazed at how often I fall from the way of love in my own life. How often I am racked by anxiety, insecurity, fear, rejection, despair, aggression or depression. I hate the feelings yet I seem to embrace them so completely, hold on to them, relish in them, and make them my reality. Until I wake up. When I wake up, I remember to breathe, I remember to trust, I remember to repeat over and over love, love, love, love, love, until the fear is calmed and replaced. Yet, it’s not easy. However, it starts with us.

Not only is unacceptable for a child to be harmed in school, it is equally unacceptable for the adults charged with the child’s care to not advocate for her safety and adamantly demand that such things not be allowed to happen again, lest there be legal action taken. If we don’t take these actions then we are as much a part of a flawed and abusive system as the ones conducting the abuse. Edmund Burke once said that “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

Stand up, stand strong, and remember that love really can be enough. Recall how our colleague Pat O’Brien defines unconditional love, “that love where there is nothing that a child can do to earn, and there is nothing that a child can do to loose”.

Choose Love,