Provoking Love
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.
—Hebrews 10:24 (NRSV)
MARILYN PAGÁN-BANKS | Every once in a while, I will run across a Facebook post where someone is asking their friends to shift the conversation from what is wrong in the world to something fun or to share what they are grateful for. Sometimes good news is posted and there is an invitation to “share” so that others might know things aren’t all bad all the time.
These reminders usually come right on time. The heaviness of the struggle for liberation can cause us to burn out and even lash out at those in the fight with us and those attempt- ing to love and care for us. The losses are real. The wounds are deep. The journey is long. Folx are tired. Damn it, I am tired!
So during this Lenten season, I commit to inserting joy and laughter into my daily fight for justice and peace. I commit to saying “thank you” more to those who put their bodies on the line and those who stuff envelopes in the office. I commit to saying “I am sorry” when I mess up or step on toes or am just plain nasty to folx. I commit to expressing ten- derness and kindness with my siblings.
Perhaps this practice will provoke another to the same. And another. And another. Who knows?
PRAYER Source of love and every good thing, help me to ground my anger towards injustice and to source my rage against the isms of the world with a deep abiding love for You, my neighbor, and myself. Amen.

About the Writer:
MARILYN PAGÁN-BANKS serves as Pastor of San Lucas UCC, Executive Director of A Just Harvest, and Adjunct Professor at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Source: “Running from Empty” | 2023 Lent Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.