LOVE AND NAKED LADIES; HATE, AND THE FATHER OF LIES
The grass was knee-high in some places, because of all the recent rains.
Friday, the grass was dry enough to mow.
As I was just about to finish the front yard, I saw these four wild flowers (naked ladies) standing tall in the middle of the grass.
It would have been easy to mow them down, finish the job.
But I had this thought, “Wendy would like to see these…” so I carefully mowed around them.
I made a choice.
We throw this word around all the time…love…how we need more love in this world…how there is so much hate.
But…is love anything more than the decision to put someone else’s need in front of your own?
You do it once, well, that’s all right, but that is not love.
Love is a decision made over and over and over and over….
Not a feeling.
Love is not easy.
Now, hatred, that’s a different thing altogether.
It just springs up in me.
I don’t try to hate, I just can’t stand the guy (or girl) because they do (fill in the blank).
And when I hate, I feel superior as if I am a more noble one…one who sees the horrible things this other person does (or probably does) and thinks that I would never, ever (fill in the blank).
Hate is easy.
Hate comes from the base nature of who I am.
When I hate, I am blind to my own faults and evil desires.
I hear the voice, “You are so much better than him…you are good, he is bad…there is no punishment too bad for what he did…His life needs to be destroyed…”
And I think the voice comes from me.
There is a liar, actually the father of lies, who prowls about throughout the earth, whispering into the ears of those who will listen, seeking to steal a reputation, kill a good name, destroy a family, wage war against the enemy.
The methods he uses are hate and lies.
He pours hatred out like wine, drenching the world with a growing drunken sense of “righteous anger” and a desire to punish and destroy those “evil ones”.
A lie is a small thing…it’s all right…after all, you have to stop this “evil”…and isn’t it at least just a little bit true, anyway…at least a little bit?
And the only way to stop the evil one…the author of this hatred…the one that fuels the wars and rumors of wars that plague the world, that keep the world in this darkness…
Well, I really can’t.
You see, I can’t really even do this love thing very well.
My nature is ultimately to make things better for me.
So, what I call love…really, it is self love.
Maybe Jesus was on to something when he said, ” Love your neighbor as yourself.”
He knew what I was…on the inside.
Turns out, I can’t even do this…love my neighbor as I love myself.
I have to die (to myself)…in order to live.
In order to love.
Because, when I die to myself, then I put others before me.
Then I receive this other kind of love that comes from the One who is love.
The Greeks called it “Agape”.
So how do I stop this dark one, this hater, this father of lies?
I think the Beatles had a hint,
“All you need is love…love is all you need.”
Too bad Agape doesn’t fit the rhyme.