Laughing here at the Lord’s perfect synchronicity, the way He likes to weave my life together. So, this sweet woman embroidered this lovely quote and it was a work of art I tell ya, beautiful, but the sentiments are just all wrong.
Sheesh, and some of us cannot even craft on zoom without stepping into controversy….
This is a deceptively sweet sentiment and it makes a certain kind of sense. Are we talking about loving all different kinds of people? Even Canadians? (I am just teasing, we love Canadians.) In the sense of social status, class, or race or something, love has no boundaries, if “boundaries” are being defined as arbitrary, man made, social hierarchies, and lines on a map.
But after that it all totally falls apart and just faceplants. Love better have some boundaries, or else it isn’t love at all, it is just exploitation.
It occurs to me that there are two ways to perceive “boundaries.” One is as if they were walls to be torn down or scaled. Boundaries keep people and things out. Take the wall, seize the territory, defend the perimeter. The other way is that boundaries are what enable you to let things in. Both perceptions are somewhat true, but culturally this little needlepoint has gained so much power, some real dominance and now tries to rule our day. We’ve entered an age of multi-culturalism, globalism, and tolerance or at least, tolerance for thee, but not for me. Boundaries are now perceived negatively as something to be destroyed, cancel cultured, walls to be torn down.
Which brings me to politics. The game is rigged. The game has been rigged for decades now. I have a lot of optimistic, encouraging people in my world. If there’s a huge economic problem in your area, you just need more training, more education, more student loan debt. I haven’t really bought into all that messaging, but I know many have. Not content with your lot in life? Just get more education! True story, I once worked in this restaurant and our dishwasher had a master’s degree.
The other optimism is, we just need to work harder politically, get our message out better, and come back stronger in two years. Those are well meaning, well intentioned words, but you know what? When the game is rigged, your efforts are going to be futile. Here, go carry water in this collender full of holes. Just run faster, you can make it work. Just pretend those holes aren’t even there….
Boundaries are what enable love to get in and protects it while it’s there. It creates the environment that allows love to safely bloom. It fertilizes the ground. Boundaries invite people in. In much the same way, it is the fertile soil that nourishes an economy, the environment. And being able to trust your system, being able to place some certainty in election integrity and to be assured you can make positive change in your community is what encourages people to participate in elections and in civil life in general.
Those things all died for me long ago. I do not trust the system because it is not trustworthy. That’s not something that is hanging in the balance or about how, “we could lose our whole country this week!” That is an established, decades long fact. Nearly half the people in this country don’t even bother to vote in part because we know the game is rigged. The same is true of working for a living, or trying to start a business, or trying to buy a home.
We are not perched on the edge of, “losing our country,” we are trying to regain some of what was stolen long, long ago. For many years, people have felt cast out of a system that is rigged against them. The deck is stacked. That’s what a lot of social justice stuff, no matter how misguided, is all about. It’s a struggle to wrestle some power away from the government and put it back in the hands of the people. It does indeed misdiagnose the problem and prescribe the wrong solution, but that is the sentiment behind it.
In my book, Christians especially have totally blown it in this area. We’ve been talking about “judge not,” (that’s not what that memes) Jesus loves everybody, (yes but…) and whole slew of other really wishy washy things that all amount to promoting this false idea that, “love has no boundaries.” You know who that benefits? Perpetrators, abusers, and tyrants. People who subscribe to a, “love has no boundaries” philosophy are victims in training. Roadkill a-coming.
That is just as true in your personal love life as it is in your national and civic political life.
One of my favorite things in the Bible is when God posts an angel with a sword in the garden of Eden, wraps them in skins, and sends them on their way. That’s a boundary, that’s love. So many people read Genesis 3:24 as if it were condemnation, punishment, being “cast out.” We often miss that last part, “to guard the way to the tree of life.” God already had a plan to restore them, to protect them, to “keep the way of the tree of life.” Who is the tree of life for? You and me. God has kept a way for us to come in.
Boundaries make a way for love to get in, for life to flourish, and they protect your investment. God has made a tremendous investment in us.
Hope that makes sense. Also, Ima need to find a new crafting group now. Apparently “love has no boundaries” is not a political statement, but “love has boundaries” violates the rules against religion and politics. But of course it does. My bad….:)