Last summer, a colleague and friend Jacqueline Bussie set out to birth her latest book Love without Limits: Jesus’ Radical Vision for Love with No Exceptions. The irony is that her original publisher asked her to remove stories about her LGTBQ+ and Muslim friends. When she refused to remove those stories, the publisher decided to not publish the book. But love is a powerful thing and within 24 hours, this book had a new home and a new publisher in Fortress Press.
This book was published because of the power of love. Bussie put a piece of tape over her mouth with the word “Censored” and posted on Facebook. That post went viral when friends, colleagues, friends of friends and others started to share the post and tag publishers who might be interested. Little did any of us know that her book would indeed find a new home within 24 hours.
This book is a book that I believe the world needs to read especially if you believe that God’s love sent into the world through God’s one and only Son Jesus is the kind of love that God wants us to share.
As I read this book, there were so many times I found myself thankful for the stories Bussie was sharing in her book. She was giving a name and a face to those that are often seen as the outcasts. “Abraham and Sarah are the first immigrants, the first ‘resident aliens.’ For Christians and Jews who claim these two as faith-parents, this means our faith is an immigrant faith! It also means we were born to cross boundaries (Bussie).” She was reminding me how limitless love truly can be when we treat on another with love and respect.
And this book brought me to tears so many times; tears of healing, tears of joy, tears of reconcilation and tears of pain and grief. In the midst of my tears of grief, Bussie’s words were a gift to me especially in a year filled with so much grief as I have lost five friends since last October. “Grief has always stung my soul like a thousand Georgia fire ants swarming my skin (Bussie).” Grief stings so deeply but love and community bring healing in the midst of that grief.
The truth is that as followers of Jesus, we are called to love without limits. “Followers of a love-without-limits God don’t seek peace. Instead they seek a just peace–meaning a peace built upon the foundations of justice.”
This book reminds us over and over the incredible power of loving without limits. It’s what can happen when one publisher refuses to publish a book the world needs to read. It’s what can happen when a community comes together in the midst of grief. Its what can happen when we truly love one another for who God created us to be. It’s what happens when we set our stories of sorrow and pain alongside one another. It’s what happens when we hold hands together and love without limits.
“God’s love sees us for who we can become, instead of merely the person we are today, unfinished (Bussie).” In fact, it is this kind of love that accepts us all for who God created us to be. We are all unfinished works in progress. Love transforms and renews who we are as loved children of God.
Love is not a candle, it’s the freakin sun” (Bussie)
Some additional favorite quotes from the book:
“A genuine apology is like an eleventh hour rain on a dusty crop. Grossly overdue, but miraculously just in time.”
“Life writes its own poetry. But like all poetry, it’s sometimes hard to read.”
“We set the cracked plate of their stories of sorrow alongside the broken cup of God’s own story of pain and redemption.”
I am linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup, Mary and Tell His Story, Kristin and Porch Stories, Holly and Coffee for your Heart!