How is it they live for eons in such harmony – the billions of stars –
when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their mind against someone they know.
There are wars where no one marches with a flag, though that does not keep casualties from mounting.
Our hearts irrigate this earth. We are fields before each other.
How can we live in harmony?
First we need to know
we are all madly in love
with the same
God. ~Thomas Acquinas
I look at headline news through my fingers, cringing. In the posturing between countries and factions, only the names and faces have changed, not the hatred, not the threats.
We’ve seen this all before, over and over. Not quite 150 years ago it was in the Gettysburg fields that blood of rival armies intermingled and irrigated the soil. Even as we now stand side by side with Germany and Japan, our bitter enemies a mere seventy years ago, we have fallen on new killing fields in the Middle East.
We can barely go a minute without declaring war in our minds against our neighbor, especially in a presidential election year. The casualties mount from our bitterness toward one another here on this soil, not only those so different from us on distant shores.
How can there ever be harmony? How can we overcome our rancorous hearts?
It is not love for each other that comes first. We are too flawed, incapable of love or being loveable.
First we need to know and love the only God who loves the unloveable so much He became one with us, overcoming our hatred with sacrifice.
We are dying fields desperate in drought.
We need His bleeding heart irrigating our thirsting soil.
To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness – especially in the wilderness – you shall love him. Frederick Buechner
At times of our wandering, whether in the desert, among the cliffs, or in the deep valley of dark alleys, we can feel estranged from God, from Man, from ourselves. We know the homelessness of the lost and the seemingly abandoned.
But we are commanded to love, no matter how we hunger, or how tenuously we cling to the precipice, or how hidden we are in the desolated dumpsters of life.
Always, always, love brings us back to what we are created to be.
We are designed to bend low and bow down, built for kneeling, able to smile through tears and cry while laughing.
We know the paradox of being so sick, so dying, so broken, so lost in the wasteland that rescue will be our ultimate joy.