Online or in person, these days, it seems like everyone is yelling at each other. A local author and spiritual leader wonders what would happen if we started listening to each other. That’s a focus of Adam Weber’s new book, “Love Has a Name.” He hopes it’ll heal the divide between us, but it also came from Weber’s own struggle with the topic.
You’ll consistently find Pastor Adam Weber in front of his Embrace Church congregation, talking about love.
“The simplest way to love another human being is really simple,” Weber said during a sermon.
A few years ago, the answer was a little more complicated. Weber admits it became hard to practice what he preaches.
“I went through a time where I didn’t want to love anybody. I wanted to love my wife, kids, and a few close friends. That’s about it.” Weber said.
Who could blame him? A lot of us feel this way.
“Just because I’m a pastor doesn’t also mean I’m not a human,” Weber said. “I just got a hard heart to be honest with you.”
Weber started writing about it and visiting with friends and strangers. In some cases, he’d meet them sitting at a desk he’d set up outside on Phillips Avenue.
It led to his second book, “Love Has a Name.”
“Each chapter is the name of a person who has either loved me or I’ve tried to love them,” Weber said.
Weber’s goal is to help the reader discover how to love someone else who is different from them, or someone who may just be a difficult person.
“Even Jesus said, it’s easy to love people who are just like you or think just like you or even in this time vote just like you. Anybody can do that, but what does it look like to love someone who disagrees with you or frustrates you?” Weber said.
Brady Mallory: “How do you love someone who is racist or someone who is hateful or someone who seeks to do harm? How do you love that person?”
Weber: “It’s really hard. Sometimes love doesn’t always look like love. Love sometimes means saying, ‘this isn’t ok.'”
Readers may find the book to be a helpful lesson in learning compassion, but Weber says it also helped him to open up again.
“It really honestly led me to want to love others again,” Weber said.
Which brings us back to the first thing Weber said in this story.
“The simplest way to love another human being is really simple.”
Pastor Adam Weber is right. Whether it’s a good friend, a barista, a homeless person on the street, or someone who votes differently than you do; love has a name. You just have to take the time to learn it.
“Instead of walking past them, instead of taking them for granted. Instead of treating them like an object or machine. We just pause, even for five seconds, and ask their name and ask how they’re doing today…and just start listening,” Weber said.
“Love Has a Name” is available at major retailers. You can find links to them on Weber’s website.