Let love rule
Here’s a story about love that I wrote in 2009. Today seemed like a good day to share it again, though the message of love is timeless (and needed more than ever in today’s social climate.)
I made a holiday card faux pas this year and sent a Jewish friend a card that said something about the peace of Christ on the inside. The picture on the cover of the card was of a Christmas tree – harmless, in my opinion, because of its secularization, though I am aware that more politically correct people would disagree – decorated with the word “Peace” in various languages.
When I apologized to him via email, he replied, “I’m one of those people who basically believes that all religions can be distilled down to the same message, which is about love. So whether it’s in the words of Jesus or Buddha or Mohammed, words of love and peace are always welcome.”
His comments touched me deeply, because it had not been long since my mother passed away after a brief illness, where I had witnessed God’s children come together for a common purpose. It didn’t matter what religious denomination they were or whether they were affiliated with any church at all, they allowed God’s love to pour through them to my family and me, and each other, as we tried to come to terms with a sudden and unexpected loss.
About a week prior to my mom’s passing, she had written on her to-do list, “Send love to everyone you see or think about.” The day before she fell ill, she wrote “Acknowledge your loving light every moment.” Both items were checked off. This didn’t surprise me, given that in her obituary, she was referred to as “a beloved advisor and mentor to many, a ‘Spiritual Giant,’ a ‘shining star’ and ‘an inspiration.’”
In “The Mastery of Love,” a talk given by Reverend Jim Lee of the Sacramento Christ Unity Church, he talks about the concept of loving not just your neighbor as yourself, but also loving your enemies, as Jesus taught. Reverend Lee tells us that we don’t have to love them up close and personal, but we can still wish them all the happiness and joy we hope for ourselves. This is also what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meant by “agape” love, which he described as “understanding and creative, redemptive goodwill for all men.”
I’m not mad at God that we didn’t get the specific miracle that we all prayed for during my mother’s illness. Sometimes God says no, because He is God and I don’t need to know the reason right now. Just like sometimes Mommy says no, because I am Mommy and I said so, that’s-why-end-of-story.
Indeed, having my first son is how I began to understand the true love of God. I love my children no matter what, just like I know God loves me, even when I do foolish and errant things. With renewed gratitude, I could reflect upon times in my life when I had turned my back on God and realized that He always had and always will believe in me.
Having my second and third sons made it obvious that love is not divided, but multiplied, when there are more people to love. Love is miraculous: the more you give away, the more you end up with!
Reverend Lee also states in his talk that “peace is love at rest, joy is love singing, patience is love enduring,” and to that list I’ll add that service is love in action. When we act lovingly towards other people, we are serving God. It’s all about love.
“Love transcends all space and time,” as Lenny Kravitz sings. “Its time to take a stand; brothers and sisters join hands. We got to let love rule.”
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” ~John 13:34-35New International Version (NIV)