Posted by: Abe's Blog | February 8, 2011

Where is the Love?

The month of love is upon us once again. I am fortunate to have a special someone to love and to experience her love in return. I have been thinking about love lately, though not necessarily of the type of love I share with my beautiful wife. I have been thinking about love in the scheme of this world and the humanity that fills it. Love. Or the lack thereof.

My view of world events is shaped to a certain extent by my up-bringing in a fundamentalist religion which emphasized “end times”–the events leading up to a time of judgement, catastrophe, and the end of the world as we know it. I am still a man of faith, though I have come to my own understanding… or at least an acceptance that I will never know it all and there is no person, living or dead, who does.

That said, I still have this feeling that world events are building towards a significant and unpleasant head. There are so many factors involved–Islamic extremism, dictatorships becoming powerful and developing nuclear arsenals, civil unrest, economic crisis… We are surrounded by it every day. But in the middle of it all, and behind it all, is hate. The absence of love.

Polarization is the state of the day–at least as we see through the eyes of the media. We are led to believe that there are two sides. Black and white. Right and Left. There is no middle ground. We watch as one side accuses the other of being racist hate-mongers, only to hear the same speak of their opponents as sub-humans who should be eradicated.

All the while, outside of the political realm, the entertainment industry has been feeding us a steady diet of “reality” shows. According to television reality, we are a country of fools, drug addicts, and drunks for whom instantaneous violence is an acceptable way of dealing with disagreements. However, I am less concerned with the moronic behaviors of the reality “stars” than I am with the way that we as the watcher are encouraged to ridicule and even hate the people that we are watching–people who are just that: people. Humans. How easy it is to slip into a mode of scornful mean-ness as we watch a fellow human make bad choices.

It bothers me. Is our society losing our love? Is our world losing our love? If so, can we stop the trend?

Perhaps all we can do is behave with love towards those in our realm. The love I speak of does not preclude an honest discussion, nor does it dictate that we must be in full agreement in all things. How uninteresting would be our lives if our world was so! The love I speak of is patient, kind, does not envy, and is not arrogant.

Can we live this love?

Happy Valentines Day
JAM

Advertisements

Responses

  1. We can try and when we fail, try again. Unconditional love is possible, even if it is rare. Kudos on yet another truly thought provoking blog.

  2. I think we’ve been on the brink of annihilation for quite some time. And if it comes about, it will definitely be mankind’s fault. When I say “quite some time” – I mean even as far back as the Cuban missile crisis. I remember my mom telling me how my dad couldn’t sleep at night because of the worry this caused.

    I think the only thing holding it all back is God Himself. Yet, even when things look their bleakest, I’m reminded of Paul’s admonition in Romans 11, where he referenced Elijah’s concern about the wickedness of the world, and how God reminded him that there were still 7,000 who had still not bowed the knee to Baal.

    I honestly believe that the radical Islamists aren’t worshipping our God; I believe with all my heart they’re worshipping a demon of hate, masquerading as God. And that’s a huge concern, because they hold as their primary purpose this goal to convert the entire world over to him. If you read up on Wahhabism, you’ll get a real eyeful on the tactics that they believe their “god” allows them to use to reach this goal. In some parts of western society, it’s working, as well-meaning idiots (sorry, that’s my opinion of them) struggle to have a dialogue with them. They of course love this desire we have to understand them, while at the same time harbouring a contempt for us. We aren’t, in their eyes, actually human; we’re pigs and monkeys – and who in their right mind would have a dialogue with pigs and monkeys?

    Still, at the end of the day, there are a huge contingent of folk who have not “bowed the knee”. Many of us no longer go to church, but I think it would be a mistake to assume that those of us who left, have left God. Maybe that was Elijah’s problem; perhaps he thought that just because he couldn’t see God’s faithful, they didn’t exist.

    I think too that there are a huge number of people who have never darkened the doors of a church who are nevertheless God’s. People who love Him without knowing who He is; people who reflect His nature, only because they are created in His image, and they have embraced that image in everything they do. Loving others, creating, fulfilling their potential, because they don’t know anything different. Many of them might even be self-professed atheists, who are God’s people nevertheless….their atheism merely an outward rebellion towards their idea of what they think God is, based upon some faulty vision of Him they’ve received from errant people (like Wahhabists, for example).

    I think there’s still lots of room for hope. Yet, there’s a tipping point, Abe. I don’t know where it is. God knows.

    • Thank you, Wolf. That is quite a commentary. Definitely thought-provoking. I believe you are right about the god of Islam being a different god from that of Judaism and Christianity. I saw an interesting series of articles on the origins of the worship of “Allah” which show that Allah was most like the pagan Moon-god, whose name was Suen, or Sin. It is intriguing that the Moon-god Sin was represented by the moon in its crescent phase. During the time of Muhammad, the Cult of the Moon-god was dominant in the Arabic world. Although the Moon-god’s name was Sin, his title was al-ilah, “the deity”.

      Fascinating stuff, for sure:
      http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/moongod.htm
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin_(mythology)

      Of course this is a topic that is in debate, but the connection between Al-ilah, the Moon-god, and Allah, the god of Islam signified by the crescent Moon is fascinating to say the least.

  3. They have the “end of times” understanding all wrong. It is the time when that Kingdom comes and of joy, a celebration and reunion. However it we be quite modest in grandeur. Just that simple meeting again, down by the riverside.

    • Carl, there’s just something so warm and joyful about that phrase “down by the riverside”. I like it a lot.

      • Do you know the hymn?

        • Sure do.

          When I think of that phrase though, it reminds me a lot of some of the Bill Gaither Trio songs, which are warm and inviting.

          • Ha ha, I’ve been writing a lot of songs in this genre and will be performing a bunch of them locally in a couple of weeks 🙂

    • Perhaps you are right, Carl. I hope so! I’m still fearful that we are heading for a period of great trial first.

  4. And it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. The theme of your post reminds me of a David Wilcox song that, you might not believe this if you listen, was written LONG before 9/11.

    It is Love who makes the mortar
    And it’s love who stacked these stones
    And it’s love who made the stage here
    Although it looks like we’re alone
    In this scene set in shadows
    Like the night is here to stay
    There is evil cast around us
    But it’s love that wrote the play…
    For in this darkness love can show the way
    http://davidwilcox.com/index.php?page=songs&display=253
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all those you love!

    • Those are great lyrics, HC! Thank you.

  5. bloglove to all

    • Thank you, Betty 🙂

  6. Aaaahhh…. I’m so “Glass Half-Full” kinda chic! Maybe it’s because I’m biased and live in “LALA Land” and love this industry so much, but…for all the bad TV, there’s GREAT TV. And for all the bad news, well, just turn it off. I don’t see the end of days, or the doom and gloom. I think we have issues, but we’re human and the struggle is always to overcome. Every generation has thier drama, but for me, it’s about how we choose to walk through it. And..I think we’re doing okay.

    I don’t think love is rare at all. I think what’s rare is our ability to see it when it’s right in front of us….

    And as far as religion goes? Religion has nothing to do with God. Nothing at all. Period.

    (Great post Abe. Thanks).

    • A glass-full view is great. I agree with your view on the tele–turn it off if you don’t like it. And I agree to a certain extent with your comment about religion. I don’t think love is rare, but I do have a sense that there is much more hate in the world at this time then there ever has been before. Thank you for your comment, Carmen! Have fun in the sunshine.

      • How about this: Is it possible that there isn’t MORE hate in the world, but we just have such technology available nowadays that we can hear it far more quickly, clearly and from everywhere?

        There isn’t MORE hate in the world. It’s just now — because of the brilliance of being human and wanting to BE MORE and KNOW MORE we have advanced in technology so greatly that it has amplified everything. This is one of the down-sides of our greatness in technology. Information overload. Too much information at one time.

        Love is NOT rare — Love is all around us and amazing. I heard it posed this way before (and I’m paraphrasing) but, love is all around us, like water for a fish. A fish doesn’t seek out water — a fish is IN water — I think Love is like that. Love is part of who I am and therefore all around me. Maybe I sometimes I find myself in a cave or on shore, but I have to find my way back to the ocean to survive… Maybe that’s goofy analogy, but it’s the way I see it.

        If we all don’t put in perspective what’s happening and instead harp on the negative, that’s all we’ll generate. So, defy the obvious. Look for the nuances.

        Eeeeh, that’s what I’m going with anyways… Maybe I’m living in delusion, but I believe in my heart of hearts, Life is good! More times than not…

        Carmen

  7. Carmen – I LOVE what you wrote here. Especially the fish analogy. It makes sense. Sometimes, when you’re so immersed in something (like a fish in water), it’s hard to even be aware of it, isn’t it? One can sometimes only see the differences; like the brutally dry bits of land.

    Oh, and I ABSOLUTELY EMPHATICALLY agree with your comment about religion. :). I see it as mankind’s wild and well meaning attempt to codify God. Who, let’s face it, resists such categorization and walls of man-made rules. Jesus himself broke it down, when he spoke of the multitudes of laws. Paraphrasing here: “dudes, y’all need to chill for a second. It’s not about rules #564-985. There really are just two, and it’s more common sense and logical than you might think: love God. Love your neighbour.”

    Then, typically, the disciples started to attempt to codify even THAT statement: “well then,Lord, precisely who is my neighbour?”.

    I imagine Jesus shaking his head, laughing at that.

    • I like YOUR version of God and Jesus’s words so much better Wolfie! Ha!

      Awesome! I can totally see Jesus shaking his head…. Ha!

      Hugs,
      Carmen

  8. Great post! We can all use some reminders of this from time to time. I’m going to take it to heart and pass it on!

    • Thank you. A little bit o love can never hurt.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: