Our Favorite Books: Preemptive Love

We made a pact: we were not giving up on Ali! …if preemptive love meant anything at all, it had to mean something here and now for Ali. His parents’ terrorism…had left yet another hole in his heart. If we were to be about heart-mending now was clearly our time…the long, hard walk toward our enemies —toward the ones who plotted to kill us
—changed us all forever.
— Jeremy Courtney, Preemptive Love

Wow.  How far are you willing to go to love your enemy?  To love someone who is actually trying to kill you?  How much would you sacrifice?  Your time?  Your resources? Your life? 

The Preemptive Love Coalition is an organization that seeks to help Iraqi children get life-saving 
heart surgery and ultimately pursue peace amongst communities that are not only at odds, but 
also deeply mistrust and even hate each other.  Their motto is “love first and ask questions later 
- save lives behind enemy lines”.   

After reading the organization’s story detailed in the book “Preemptive Love”, I feel that my 
entire outlook on loving others has been revolutionized.  Jeremy Courtney, his family and his 
team have a radical approach to serving and sacrificing for others, that I feel truly lives out what 
Christ commands of us in Luke 6 : 27-28,35:

“…love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…expecting nothing in return…” (NASB)

Even with the stories shared, I know that I can hardly fathom what it is like to live in a conflict-
ridden, war-torn place filled with desperate poverty.  I can barely imagine what it would be like to 
try to reach into someone else’s deep-seated stereotypes and prejudices and build bridges of 
peace.  But I know, that with the encouragement of this story, I can adopt two guiding 
philosophies: 

1. The belief that God, our Father, is the ultimate and perfect “Preemptive Love”.  He is already 
has taken action to save us from our rebellion.  He has acted in advance to make a way for 
us to live in relationship with Him.  Preemptive love is who God is, is what He has done, and 
is what He is actively doing in our world.   

2. The following ideology from Preemptive Love, “ our souls…require the discipline of spending 
time on both sides in order to not get warped… I no longer accept the zero-sum worldview 
that says we cannot simultaneously be on the side of Democrats and Republicans; 
Americans, Israelis, and Iranians; Jews and Palestinians; Sunnis and Shias… I choose them 
all.  I don’t lean left or right.  I lean in. I lean forward, because that’s where love lives.” 

If you desire to truly live a radically sacrificial life, I would highly recommend you read 
“Preemptive Love” for encouragement from our brothers and sisters serving in Iraq.  Visit the 
organization’s website, www.preemptivelove.org, where you can learn more and order a copy of 
the book.  

But if you don’t, I would encourage you to start asking yourself and praying that God 
would change your heart.  

“Do I believe with all my heart that God is a God of “Preemptive Love”?” 

“What can I be doing in my immediate sphere of influence to love first and bring peace, even to 
my enemies?”

See You In The Round!
Elaine


*Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.