Advent 7: You are Loved

fullsizeoutput_2a62.jpeg

Last time I was in San Francisco, the reader board at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts said, “The real leaders walk among us.” It was a year after the 2016 election, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. This morning it said, simply, “You are Loved.”

I walked from there to the top of Nob Hill and sat in the sun on the steps of Grace Cathedral. I listened to a a song that made me cry (link here, click on the first song on the album). At 44, what’s finally changing is that my very loud Inner Critic is starting to quiet down. I used to think that if I quit listening to her, I’d be less good. Or less lovable, successful, or action-oriented. The truth of my belovedness is starting to slip past all that, and the sign this morning confirmed it.

So that’s what I want to say to you: You are Loved. Whether you are beautiful or homely, you are loved. Whether you are single or partnered. Whether you are happy or sad, confident or scared. Whether you are rich or poor or anything in-between. Whether you are in community or you are lonely, whether you are fat or thin. Whether your body works right or not. Whether Christmas makes you happy or wretchedly sad, whether your mother loved you or not, whether you’re employed or not, whether you think your work is meaningful or not. None of these things—not one—changes the essential, universal, not-told-enough truth that you are loved, you are beloved, your life is worth everything, and we should all be shouting from the rooftops about it. Amen.