Perhaps it is a bit heretical for a Unitarian Universalist to say this, but I loved the Pope’s message he gave on Wednesday, where he called for a “revolution of tenderness.”
This is not about being “nice” for the sake of politeness. Pope Francis says we need a revolution of tenderness because, “from here, justice and all the rest derives.” I couldn’t agree more. Plus, it didn’t hurt that he took his Church to task for falling “into the temptation to take a hard line.”
When we are feeling hurt or disrespected, when we are afraid, our first defense response is often to harden our hearts, to take a hard line. And boy, are we in a time when the news is inundating us with messages of fear.
And in some situations in our past, hardening our hearts is what we needed to do to survive.
But church should not be a place where you have to harden your heart to survive. I believe church should be a place where we practice a revolution of tenderness, towards ourselves and towards others. A place to slow down, be curious about what is going on in the lives of others, and risk assuming good intentions. A place to try out tenderness, even in the most mundane interaction, even in the most transactional email message.
Because from this radical place of tenderness, justice and all the rest derives.