“and now I will show you the most excellent way…”
I meant to tell you all this earlier. When I was in the shower today I figured it all out. I mean I really got it all completely figured out, the world, the troubles, everything. I know the answer. I started to write it down but the phone rang and then the doorbell rang and of course there was a fascinating discussion on Twitter about feminism and rape culture so I got sidelined on that a little while. Later, I thought more about my grand revelation, the one that came to me in the hot spray of a rushed shower and I began to write some notes. I only got a few words into it when I stopped, because it’s too simple, far too simple and far too difficult.
It’s only love.
That’s all. It’s the answer, the full and complete answer to life, to death, to war, to everything. And I thought as I began to type these words about all the responses, about it being naive and simple and unrealistic. And frankly, that’s a kind of sad thing to believe. It’s a sad thing to think that love cannot overcome the worst of life because in a way, if it can’t then what exactly is the point? I thought too, you know, that really, the business of religion ought to be love, real and concrete love, without strings, without fail. It ought to be about love. That is what seems to unite all the world’s religions, the one question they all seek to answer being “how then do we love one another?” Too often religion gets sidelined by something other than love, by power or control, by judgement and fear and anger. The answer to that is love. Too often politics gets sidelined with something than care of its people, by power or control, by judgement and fear and anger. The answer to that, also, is love. Too often I get sidelined, I get distracted, I get confused and disoriented by power or control or judgement and anger and I find, more and more, the compass I need gets buried under the pile of things I ought to do, have to do, should have done. But really, on the simplest level, if all I say and do is oriented according to that crazy compass where Love is magnetic North, well, I have to think my life would feel different, look different, be different. If I make decisions based in love, real love, full on agape, where is the loss in that? Certainly, it won’t keep any of us from injury, because love requires sacrifice, vulnerability, risk. Power and Control offer sexy lines about avoiding the mess of vulnerability, exerting dominion over that pesky thing called risk, circumventing the sacrifice. It sounds ideal.
And of course it would-
-which is why we choose it over love so frequently.
So the Beatles almost got it right. Love isn’t really all we need but based on how the world is moving these days, I’d say that it is certainly ought to be back at the top of the list. That’s what I’m thinking, anyway.