Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Choose Love

A few months ago I shared on this blog about my sister's and my internet radio show, Real Sisters Talk.  After that, I probably seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth. The time it takes to prepare for those shows, and the running of a family and ranch, didn't leave me extra time to write.  Still, there have been horseback rides, hikes, family reunions, and high school football games.  There have been minor (in the larger scheme of things), but expensive, challenges, like our broken well.  There have been tragedies: friends with illnesses, friends losing their dear horses (Goodbye, Sweet Tonka) and everything else that makes a life. 

Sometimes, a month feels like a year.

Through it all, there's not a day goes by that I don't feel blessed by the living beings around me: my husband, my kids, my extended family, grand kids, horses, dogs, cats, goats, and my true friends--some of which I've met through this blog.

I made the right choice.  I chose to love.

The last show my sister and I did was an interview with Ray Boltz who was, and hopefully still is, a powerful voice of love, faith and hope in the Christian community.  I owned all of his CD's and saw him in concert in the 90's.  There were a couple of his songs that changed my life, for "personal to the person" reasons, as I so ineptly said on the show. 

Through the years, I lost touch with Ray's journey as my own took me further and further into an isolated, but ever more full life of loving the people and animals closest to me, and not worrying about the rest.  The show brought him back into my sphere and it brought to the forefront an issue I have not wanted to think much about--the difficulty and challenges for those who come out--especially Christians who do so.

I didn't want to think about it because I'm not gay, nor is anyone close to me, to my knowledge.  I'm a Libertarian and believe adults should be able to do whatever they want--but that's about as far as my thinking took me. 

As I prepared for the interview, though, and after I spoke to Ray, my heart was opened up to the challenges he, and people in the same situation as him, have faced.  And, to the pain of the families who are involved.  I'm now following his ex-wife, Carol's, blog--My Heart Goes Out.  What an amazing woman.  Their journey has been a difficult one (to say the least).  Ray has been largely hated and ostracized and Carol has had to continue life without her partner.

Ray's way through it was to stay close to his family and continue to write his music--songs that pretty much tell the whole tale of his life.  One of his new songs from that, I Will Choose to Love, has changed me as much as any of his old ones.  There's so much I don't understand in life because all I really know is what I've experienced.

When I was much, much younger, I thought I knew the answers--time has taught me, I do not.  Life is very complicated.  All I know now is to recognize a good spirit when I feel it and that so much more can be accomplished through love than through hate.  I sure hope that after we pass out of this world into the other we'll find out all the answers--for now, I want to err on the side of love.

This was our interview, and here is a link to his new song--I Will Choose to Love. 

"I will choose to care
When I see a soul in need.
I will treat each life
With respect and dignity.
I will not be selfish
When it's time to share.
I will choose to care.

I will choose to hear
The voices of the frail and weak,
Open up my ears
To the whispered words they speak.
I will not stop listening
Till those are clear.
I will choose to  hear.

I will choose to hope
Even on the darkest day
Knowing I will see
Guided by the light of faith.
Joy comes in the morning
And it brings the strength to cope.
So, I will choose to hope."

Ray Boltz, I Will Choose to Love


  1. What a lovely post, and lovely words. I, too, am a Christian, and tell everyone when it comes to that subject, that Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, not our straight neighbor, or our black neighbor, or our Christian neighbor, but simply our neighbor. The rest is between God and them.

  2. Very well said, and I agree--it is between them and God. When humans play that role it seems to me that they have a lack of faith in that very thing you say--and a lack of faith in general. I prefer to take people where they're at today. If they have a good, kind, forgiving, generous spirit--WOW--I want to be close to them. If they're mean-spirited, uncompromising, unforgiving, and judgmental....I'll keep my distance, thank you--but life usually has a way of humbling all of us--so there's hope for them, too. Thanks for your kind comment!

  3. This was a lovely post. I'm not familiar with Ray Bolz but I sure enjoyed that song. I have friends who are gay and I why people think anyone would choose such a difficult path is beyond me. People need love, not condemnation.

  4. That's really a good point--why would anyone choose that kind of heartache? Well said, Annette.

  5. This was a wonderful post. I've not heard of Ray Bolz but the song has great lyrics. There have been many people in my life who were/are gay. I'm not a judgmental person but take everyone as they come. People can't help the circumstances they are born into but can only make the best of things. I feel as long as you are a good and caring person you should be able to live your life the way you see fit. It's hard to understand why so many people feel the need to judge others.

  6. GHM--the key words there are that you're not a judgmental person. That shines through on your blog, too. And I agree that the ultimate test is---"are you a good and caring person." I know that some of the judgment is wrapped in religious terms, but I've read the bible, too, and Jesus who put the "Christ" in Christian, preferred to dine and hang out with the people the pharisees said were "sinners". The only group he discriminated against were religious "rule" keepers--and not surprisingly, everyone wanted to hang out with him! ;)

  7. A wonderfully insightful post. I agree, it's not our place to judge and it's so hard to know what others have been through and what's affected them!

    Beautiful lyrics. There's a New Zealand singer Brooke Frasier who has a song 'Hosanna' that I was led to think of upon reading those lyrics.

    A line in her song really catches me, a cry to God of, "Break my heart for what breaks Yours". Love is indeed, an important choice.

    1. Thanks, Christine. I love that line. Ray has a song called Who Would Jesus Love and that seems such an easy to question to answer. He always hung around the people who were hurting--the "sinners"--and avoided the ones who thought they had it all right. Lovely line.

  8. Gosh, Linda - your words are just beautiful and leave me here with tears in my keyboard. I've always felt that when something touches you to the point of tears, it's because of the deep recognition that a holy spirit is nigh. Your words resonate so true to what I feel also, that the older we get, the more we know that we don't know. Kind of like horsemanship, right?

    Thanks for the beautiful words today.

    1. Thanks, Laura. I know you and I are on the same page. It's all about the journey--with life, love and horses.


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.