Radical Love

I’m always surprised by the way life teaches me. I learned so many things in life through people, science, flowers, animals, traditions, and so on. Sometimes, I see it coming. Some other times, it’s just totally unexpected how I learn something from the world. For me, every single moment on earth is a learning process. And recently, I had a very interesting and unexpected learning experience about radical love.

Radical love that I mean here is the one that is central to the Christian teaching. It is called “radical” because it teaches people about loving everyone no matter what the circumstances, including your enemy. I’ve heard it many times, but never really understood what it means. I was raised as Christian, and going through Sunday school, my teacher always told me a verse in I Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I always remember this verse, but I never really understood it, because I never saw it in action. That time, it’s just a paragraph of verse that does not really click with the real life, for me.

Growing up, I remember my parents teach me to “love your enemies,” or a phrase “turn the other cheek.” As a child, of course I was taking these words too literally. When I grow up, I become skeptical with these things.

Come on. How could people love someone who is evil to them?

Until… a few days ago, I got an email from my SUSI Professor, containing a link to a YouTube video of a Muslim Rapper who says through his song that he believes in Jesus.

This is the video:

Here’s the lyrics of the song:

Verse 1
This ain’t a song about bottles in the club
This is about a role model filled with love
A teacher, a preacher with guidance from above
Sent to represent a message of peace like a dove
In the west they call him Jesus, in the east they call him Isa
Messiah, Christ…the same person that you speak of
Ask me why I wrote this song I will tell you because
There’s too many people silent, it’s time for me to speak up
The son of a virgin, they say it is illogical
Probably improbable but God made it possible
Gabriel told Mary that her son would be phenomenal
His voice was always audible, The opposite of prodigal,
He overcame the obstacles, people attacking him
He was a walking hospital, with healing he was passionate
He cured the sick, raised the dead, shout out to Lazarus
I’m talking about Jesus of Nazareth

If we don’t have peace, we’ll end up in pieces
Treat people the way that you want to be treated
If you do believe it, sing it and repeat it
I am not afraid to say that I believe in Jesus
Jesus…I believe in Jesus
I am not afraid to say that I believe in Jesus
Jesus…I believe in Jesus
I am not afraid to say that I believe in Jesus

Verse 2
I’m just a follower of Jesus
What that means is: I follow what he teaches
I’m not the type of person that just wants to give speeches
I’m trying to be the person that will practice what he preaches
Yeah, ’cause I’ve observed people just say the words
But faith ain’t a noun, it is more like verb
That’s why I wrote this verse, to remind us to serve
‘Cause if you haven’t heard, faith is dead without works
How can we say we believe that God exists
If we always act the opposite, it’s ominous
How we only care about our own accomplishments, and we’re quick to break our promises
We gotta put a stop to this
We all sin, I know that we are human
But we cannot keep on using all the same excuses
Now it is the time we need to prevent the abuses
Listen up, I got the solution

Verse 3
Why does our religion always have to cause division?
In reality we’re all more similar than different
Jesus wanted unity, but nowadays it’s missing
We have to use our vision if we want to do his mission
Can’t we see we’re all children of Adam, brothers and sisters?
If you don’t agree, then you haven’t read the Scriptures
Picture when Jesus comes back to Jerusalem
Will he be happy with the way that you’ve become?
We’re living wrong but today’s a new dawn
So sing along to this song, like David singing the Psalms
Now raise up your arms, give alms with open palms
Jesus brought us a message to follow until we’re gone
Shout out to my dad and mom for blessing me in my youth
God’s essence is the proof that his message is the truth
And this song was just a lesson to remind me and you
To ask ourselves this question, what would Jesus do?

From this song, I learned about how radical love is possible. From a Muslim, I learn about Jesus, more than I’ve ever learned even from my fellow Christians. Mo Sabri’s song taught me that love really knows no boundaries, whether it’s religion, culture, gender, and so on. Him being a Muslim and not ashamed to write song about believing in Jesus is a real example of radical love. He said that believing in Jesus means practicing what he preaches, which is to love one another. He shows through his song that having a different faith does not mean that we can’t take the good things of other religions. Mo does not emphasize on the difference that religions have, instead he emphasizes on the similarity that we all have as human, because we’re all children of Adam and Eve.

One of my favorite lines is:

Why does our religion always have to cause division?
In reality we’re all more similar than different

No need to explain how wonderful the rest of the lyrics are. I had goosebumps listening to this song. I think the message of this song is very powerful. At the end of the video, Mo quoted Hans Urs von Balthasar, a Catholic theologian:

“Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is.”

After I saw the video I immediately tweeted the singer

To my surprise he replied

For me, learning can be from anyone, anywhere, sometimes in a situation that people won’t expect. But if we want to open our mind and heart to learning, we’d be amazed with the things that we’d discover everyday.


3 thoughts on “Radical Love

  1. Cool michele…i think Jesus is “pure love”. He’s love across u’r religion,u’r clan, u’r country, u’r skin color,etc.
    btw, christian is not religion or ID card( act 11:26 according act 2:41-47).christian is when u receive Jesus Love, trust all life for His Love, and enjoy it!.
    I say this moment is “grace”(Eph 2:8).^^

    1. Cool Michele…i think Jesus is “Pure Love”. He’s love across u’r religion,u’r clan, u’r country, u’r skin color,etc.
      btw, Christian is not religion or “ID card”( Act 11:26 according Act 2:41-47).Christian is when u receive Jesus Love, trust u’r life to His Love, and…enjoy it!.
      I say this moment is “Grace”(Eph 2:8).^^

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