Love? What's that?
Can anyone else think of a better word to talk about in today’s world than the word “love?”
I ask this with the understanding that talk is easy. Love is not. Because love requires action. Action that speaks far louder than any word possibly can.
Yet, I believe the word “love,” for all our different love languages (some verbal and some non), meanings and understandings, deserves to be talked about alongside our most important labors of love.
The reason I believe this is that in the world of instant media and viral information, bad news travels fast. And bad news always connotes the word “fear” in one form or another. Fear is what is driving our human narrative nowadays. It is telling our national and even global story. And in perhaps more ways than we can ever imagine, it is stealing our best human story of love and diminishing our loving actions and words alike.
“Preach the gospel everywhere, and if necessary use words,” is a quote wrongly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, but that doesn’t make it a bad quote. It carries the implication that actions will always speak louder than words, but words are sometimes necessary. And talking about love may never be more necessary than when the conversation otherwise centers around fear.
When fear tells the narrative or author-izes our story, it points to “other” people as being our enemies. Hateful words fill the airwaves and cyberspace. Why? Because other people, our enemies, become a problem that requires a solution. No problem story is complete without a solution.
Throughout human history, there are times when today’s solution becomes tomorrow’s problem. War typically works in this manner. World War I brings about a solution that produces the even greater problem of World War II. The so-called War on Terror brings about a solution that produces the even greater European refugee crisis. Bad solutions lead to even greater problems ahead.
When I say bad solutions, what I really mean is that when fear gains the microphone and defines the problem, then the prescribed solution throughout human history is that of control. Control over others. Control is the solution that relieves our fear and satisfies our hatred of enemies.
End of fear story. Right?
Wrong on so very many levels, including that of today’s American political electioneering (my word for manipulating other people into voting for your candidate or political Party). Politicians tell fear stories for one purpose: to author-ize a hatred narrative in search of a single solution. Me. I alone can fix it. I will take control over your enemies. I will relieve your fears and satisfy your hatred. And, sadly, both major Parties in America are tempted by the evil one to use the “fear” word, to the exclusion of its opposite: “love.”
America’s and no doubt the world’s best narrative to come will be a love story, not a fear story. A story where influence is given, not control driven. So let’s hear it for the word, “love.” Loving influence, not fearful control (the solution that produces our future problems) can be our conversation as well as our action. It can author-ize our better, truer narrative. And it can re-story (restore) our worst brokenness.
So let's do it and say it. Let's talk about "love."