The next several lines of this prayer require a discerning eye, and a willing gaze. I’ll take them one at a time, but you may remember the pattern:
where there is hatred,..
where there is wrong,..
where there is discord,..
where there is error,..
I don’t want to go to where.
But I am obsessed with where: keeping these wheres ever before me, as constantly and loudly rejecting them will keep me safe. The wheres must be exposed! Hatred must be rejected, wrong must be righted, discord must be voted down, error must be defeated…. I’m righteously weary from declaring my incommensurable hereness against all unacceptable wheres. My thumbs are tired from affirming my tribe of like-minded negators. Here, here, my fellow no-wheres!
This prayer will not let me judge and reject from here, if I am seeking the life at its end.
It calls me to make where there is hatred a destination. I cannot reroute my cargo. I have a delivery for that where: not a label, not a manifesto, not an expiration stamp.
that where there is hatred, I may bring love.
Love will not allow me to stay here, my reputation safe from wherever the hatred may be. Love is not a better place, a winning card, a more excellent theory. Love is a way to where there is the greatest need to sow it.
Perhaps love is most known in the bringing. The nature of incarnation – “like us in every way” – is always more “wherever you go,” than “it is good for us to be here,” isn’t it?
My reach may be short, but I will have to contemplate where I am called to extend it.