The context of the story is about India, where arranged marriages (i.e. where parents and other elder adults select a young person's spouse) have been the traditional way that young people unite for nearly six millennia. Now, however, with more exposure to outside ideas, more and more couples are seeking what are called "Love Marriages" rather than the more traditional arranged frameworks (i.e. they meet and select one another without their family's arrangement). Sometimes, these love-marriages are frowned upon or directly opposed by parents and families, thus these new networks of "Love Commandos" who have surfaced to help such star-struck couples function and thrive anyway. Honestly, i have mixed emotions about the story. I work in India a lot and some of the strongest, most committed marriages i've ever had the privilege to experience have been "arranged" marriages where the husband and wife never even met until their wedding day. I actually think it can be a beautiful way for entire families and support systems to be involved in a young couple's life together, though, as with our own systems of dating and courtship, sure, sometimes that goes south and families choose unions for reasons other than what is best for the young couple (i.e. money, status, etc). But that's not why the article struck me.
US Navy SEALs, US Army Rangers, US Marine Recon Units, US Air Force Pararescue and the like. They don't mind crawling on their bellies for miles or days behind enemy lines and often through muck and mud and goodness knows what just to have the chance to take down an enemy supply convoy or strategic asset. They are used to hunger, sleep deprivation, thirst, fatigue and stress, and to facing forces many times their size, and often without any direct support, air cover or artillery from "home base". They are called by such titles as "Snake Eaters" and "Devil Dogs" for their tenacity and ferocity in battle, and their unwillingness to back down even at the cost of their own lives. I love those guys!
But what would it be like for the world to look at those of us who call ourselves by the Name of Jesus and call us "Love Commandos"? Not people who crawl on our bellies to take down radio towers or communication bunkers, but who are willing to wade into the brokenness of marriages and lives and relationships where people live without Hope or Love or Light. Not people who can point and shoot, per se, but people who can insightfully pray for and serve one another. Not people who study demolitions and improvised munitions, but people who know where people are hurting and how to reach them. Love Commados who refuse to back down, who are willing to crawl through whatever muck is in people's lives in order to have a chance to drag them out of their darkness into the Light and Love of a God who is searching for them. What would happen if people thought of us like that? If CNN talked about US like that?
I for one would love it! In Missional Moves, we talk in a variety of places about our belief that every single follower of Jesus Christ should indeed seek to be a Love Commando. Such is not a calling for "elite clergy", but rather for every single one of us. In our book, a Love Commando is someone who possesses a ruthless and relentless passion to infiltrate every domain of darkness in human experience and sabotage whatever exists there to keep people bound and restricted from the Light and Love and Freedom and Hope offered by the God we serve together. Motivated by Love and inspired by Hope, let it be said of us someday when the systems of Oppression and Darkness in our world fall that we have been found to be Love Commandos ourselves, doing whatever it takes to advance the Kingdom of God.