I don’t have a long reflection for you today. Given that it’s Valentines’ Day and Black History Month I was just hoping to share a few thoughts that, in my mind, speaks to the two celebrations. One celebrating Love. The other celebrating the Black experience.
To give it a little context…
Like yourselves… I find myself navigating my way through life during a worldwide pandemic that has killed over 100,000,00 people… and before it’s over, will kill millions more. I sadly report to you that I have a family member who has just been added to that number.
Like you… I am part of an economy and society that went from functioning and growing to a complete and total lockdown.
Like a rollercoaster.
One minute we were up and then almost overnight we found ourselves in a complete social and economic lockdown. We are approaching the 1 year anniversary of that lockdown… and, in spite of the promise of vaccines, we will still have to wear masks and social distance and restrict our activities for some time to come.
When the lockdown happen I watched two years of employment disappear into thin air… And I know that I am not alone in that experience. I’m sure that each of you has your story to tell.
Another product of the lockdown was that we found ourselves with lots of time on our hands. We all, like with New Years, made resolutions to get this or that done… to work on this or that project BUT one of the things that we ALL did was spend more time in front of the television or on social media (I blame my “covid weight” this)
And because of that we ALL witnessed (in primetime)… The murder of George Floyd…8 minutes and 46 seconds that sparked worldwide outrage and protest… in the middle of… and in spite of the pandemic.
People from every race, religion, socio-economic status, sexual orientation and identity, nationality etc. went to the streets to speak out for JUSTICE for George Floyd. The Black Lives Matter Movement was reintroduced to the world. The Civil Right icon, John Lewis, before his death, made a point of passing on the mantle social action to this motivated group of young folks. In fact, I just read that BLM has been nominated for a Noble Peace Prize.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a meme on Facebook that gave me pause. It said…
You’re probably thinking, “You don’t even know me”.
What I appreciate so much about this meme is that it makes a simple yet profound point…
Love doesn’t need a reason
Given our history and especially given the condition of our society these days these words really resonate with me.
We are facing economic peril.
We are trying to survive a worldwide pandemic We are divided in so many ways
Because of Covid we have to social distance… many of us live in isolation. Some of us have almost forgotten what it feels like to be hugged. Or to simply have a caring hand touch our cheek.
“Teacher, what is the great commandment in the Law? And he said, You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself”
What I hear… What resonates in my heart when I read these words is…
To Love God is to have a core commitment to the supremacy of Love …
more than anything. More than my political party… more than my national origin… More than dogma… than tribal and familial connections… more than social or economic status…
To Love your neighbour as yourself is to see each and every human being as yourself.
There is a quote that I love… written by Terence Africanus. It says,
I am Human. Therefore nothing Human is alien to me.
To me that means that when I look at you I am looking at myself… That I must treat you the way that I want to be treated…
That if I cancel you I am cancelling myself.
The scriptural reading today was taken from 1 Corinthians 13.
What I appreciate most about this chapter is that it is not a “to do” list… It’s about “being”.
It is a description of what love looks like.
As we become quiet… As we spend time looking at what love looks like we are slowly and gradually transformed into the beautiful object of our attention.
In closing I would like to encourage you to spend some time… find a quiet place and meditate on what love looks like. Whether it is through poetry or art or walking in nature… look for the love. Most importantly, look inward and find that love in yourself.