Revolutionary Love

Valarie Kaur and I have been talking about Revolutionary Love. She is married to a wonderful man named Sharat and has a boy named Kavi. Kavi is the most lovely little boy—full of light and peace. Valarie’s starting place for Revolutionary Love is in her heart for her family. Out of that heart overflows healing love that inspires her filmmaking, her activism, and her speaking.

I don’t have a child, as you know. And for a long time that child-less space really ached to be filled in a way that I thought nothing else could. I grieved the emptiness, and questioned my choices. Should I have tried to make a child sooner? Should I have changed the pace of my life to make more room?

I can’t tell you the day or time, but there has been a huge healing and that space no longer feels empty. It is filled now with so much goodness. The love of the children in my life—R.J., Rio, and the children at Middle. The love I have for my younger adult friends, my sibs, and my parents. The love I have for the work I am blessed to do. This love has been revolutionary for me; it has changed me.

Revolutionary Love is a powerful force. To heal wounds, to reconcile brokenness. One source of it in my life is John. When we married almost 11 years ago, John wrote this wedding poem for me. In his love, I feel safe to dream my highest dreams. I am at once comforted, encouraged, and challenged. I am seen, held, known, and heard. Therefore I risk, I trust, I try. I fall. I get up. Revolutionary Love is the petri dish in which I grow.

You are loved, Middle Family. By the clergy and staff here at Middle Church. We are imperfect and might fail you. But if we do, we will want a fresh start to hold you, hug you, and pray with you. You are loved, Middle Family, in a revolutionary way, by a God who will never leave you, never forsake you. Who loves you just as you are, and from whom you need never hide.

May the Revolutionary Love of our God be the petri dish in which you grow fully to be you. To love you. To love others. This kind of love can change the world.

Mwah—Big Kiss—
Jacqui

Wedding Poem —
To Jacqui, my love and joy.

No resting on plateaus for us,
not while the unknown awaits.
Spreading wings, spirit wind lifts us
in silhouette against the sky.
We are giddy as children, barefoot,
innocent, laughter the only sound drifting
on the air, echoes off city walls.
It is as though God has stepped out
in broad daylight to play with us.
We make jazz together, our two
journeys converged improbably,
crisscrossing the landscape, to make
new music that fills the canyons
of lost time and draws the angels
out of hiding. Our improvisation
makes them smile and they tap their
wings to the beat and we pass the plate.
Fugitive Love now leaps the borders
and changes everything. We are witnesses
to its reckless rampaging and we don’t
hide ourselves in subtleties even if we could.
Traversing the hard ground of emptiness, love
on the lam will stay with us for as long as it takes.
And malevolent ghosts, cowards in the face of faith,
scatter when they see us coming. We break the rules.
Doubters step aside and let believers state their hopes.

John Janka, Copyright © 2005