The pageantry is history now. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had their ceremony. But I still can’t get over the message that Bishop Michael Curry delivered not just for a wedding but for the world.
Curry used the Bible text, Solomon 8:6 — “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.”
For 13 minutes for 40 seconds, he delivered a sermon-like message that “There is Power in Love.”
What sticks with me is the way he challenged us to imagine neighborhoods and communities where love leads the way. Can love transform neighborhoods and communities? Can love compel someone to put down their guns? Is love so emotional that we failed to use it as a strategy?
Fear has instigated domestic violence, ignited gang wars and incited global conflicts. If fear can ravage and rob our communities of respect for life and love, then why shouldn’t we try love to do the opposite?
Shouldn’t we try sitting down with gang members, preachers, parents, policemen and principals to discuss the power in love? Shouldn’t we talk to students now about the power in love to prevent a school shooting?
For many who feel wounded, broken and abandoned by classmates, colleagues, family and friends, there is a redemptive message.
Curry quoted from a spiritual song that “there is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole.” This balm in Gilead can “heal the sin-sick soul.”
This “balm of Gilead” is the power in love that reminds us of how that which has been stolen can be retrieved. That which has been broken can be mended. That which has been given up can be given back. That which needs forgiveness has already been forgiven.
When justice does not happen in the courts or the streets, it can still happen in the heart. And this message can be applied in Gaza, Washington, D.C., Texas and our beloved Chicago.
In a world where we have practically weaponized words, legislated labels and institutionalized insults, maybe it’s time for uncommon people to take heed to a common message about love.
Some will ridicule the notion of the power of love as a strategy. You can’t write a policy on love. You can’t govern it or profit from it. You can understand it, though, and apologize, forgive, overcome, heal and change with love.
Before a gun is loaded, before a trigger is pulled, before a life is lost, before another parent grieves, before another obituary is written — love is an option and an answer.
How can we use it for the betterment of our neighborhoods and communities and classrooms?
Love is medicine for the weeping, weary, weak and walked-over as well as the wealthy, well-mannered and worldly. It can dissipate anger and disarm cruelty and hatred.
Curry reverently interrupted a royal celebration to challenge us to inventory our lives, assess our relationships, strengthen our humanity and invoke the power in love.
It’s a message that asks us to dig deeper, wait longer, lean closer, grab tighter, forgive faster and try harder.
Theresa Dear is an ordained elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and pastoral support minister at DuPage AME Church in Lisle.