Love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for


"Love is not a place to come and go as we please. It's a house we enter in and then commit to never leave...Love is a shelter in a raging storm. Love is peace in the middle of a war. And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door. No, love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for." ~Warren Barfield, 'Love is not a fight'

Last night, while pumping gas in the truck, I was approached by aman who offered to wash my windshield for some cash. Everything in me told me to ignore him, to say I had no money and to make any excuse I could to avoid giving this man money. That’s basic travel tip 101: do not give any money when approached by a stranger on the street, as it might encourage them to try for more and even maybe get physically violent. So i tried.

But despite my claims of having no money, he began to wash the windshield anyway. He said he would take some change even; anything. Or nothing. So I dug in my wallet and pulled out a dollar, as I definitely had no change.

Then he began talking to me, assuring me he wouldn’t hurt me. After talking to the guy next to me for a bit, he started back toward the store door. He asked me if i was okay and said not to worry, that he would hurt anyone who tried hurting me. As I finished pumping and he walked away, I began thinking of what had happened and reflecting on all of the homeless people I passed every day.

Knoxville has a massive homeless population. The city and Knox County have both attempted to take steps to help the situation. Recently, there were measures taken to begin building a facility to help those who have are homeless, however, many people in Knoxville fought the placement. No one wanted these people as their neighbors.

And I ask myself why. I know that there tends to be a correlation between income and violence, however, I have never felt threatened by any of these people. And if i felt discomfort around anyone, that was my own personal stereotype and had nothing to do with something they had done. As it is with most people.

Anyway, the next day, while sitting at a stoplight and reflecting on the class I had just left and drawing myself into a “woe is me” kind of attitude, I saw an older man crossing the street in front of me. He had a very full beard and a red scrap of material on his head, to hold back his hair. He walked like he was tired and as if he carried a heavy load. On his back he had a simple blue backpack. In the small compartment on the back, I could see two or three things of deodorant.

Now I don’t know that this man was homeless, nor am I assuming so, I just know that he looked tired and sad. And he was certainly in a hurry to get somewhere. On the radio at the time was a song titled, "Love is not a fight," by Warren Barfield. and the chorus just kept saying
“Love’s not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for.”

Together it all just hit me and I wondered, “does he know what love means? Does he experience it on a regular basis?” And my heart just broke. The rest of the ride home, I just kept thinking about this man and the man from last night.

I just wonder what I can do.

As I pulled up to my complex, an artist interview came over the radio. A man named Josh Wilson had written a song titled “I Refuse.” This came after the flooding of Nashville. Wilson said that he kept praying for help for these people and eventually he realized that, by praying, he was giving himself an “out” in his mind. He thought that if he prayed, then that relieved him from doing anything. But that’s not the way it works. When he discovered this, he wrote this song and said that the main idea was “I can’t do everything, but I refuse to do nothing.”

And, again, I begin wondering what I can do. My heart is troubled and concerned for these people. In my home county, there are few homeless. Sure, there are those who need help and people try, but I guess I was just never faced with this in a place where I lived.
As I write this, the song, "Keep changing the world" comes on the air.
"To all the people who are fighting for the broken, all the people who keep holding on to love, all the people who are reaching for the lonely. Keep changing the world."
For now, that’s my thoughts. And I ponder, what can I do?

The answer is not something I know yet, but I'm going to find out. And when I do, I'll shout it out. Because we have to do something.

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