How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? – 1 John 3:17
This is a post that of myself I don’t want to write. In fact, I don’t even know what I am about to say. What I know is that I was reading Romans 15 this morning because it popped in my head as my Bible reading for the day. As I was reading, I was in dialogue with the Holy Spirit asking for guidance in my thoughts and deeds for the day. I asked because though my heart’s desire is to think only loving unifying thoughts, I can get distracted by any number of things throughout the day. And I don’t want to. I know that my distraction will not do anything for anyone. Maybe for a moment I might forget some of the things I witness on a daily basis that brings tears to my eyes. But it won’t make them go away. Only love can make them go away. And so to the highest degree that I can from moment to moment, I believe I need to use my thoughts to cultivate love wherever I can.
I was just telling the guys from a group I am in that I am absolutely convinced that God is Love; although accepting this means that I am not able to construct, in a way that I can describe to others, a static notion of how God shows up in the world or say with confidence what God will or won’t do in a situation. For example, if I pray for a certain outcome, it doesn’t mean that Love’s highest expression will match what I think should happen. I do know that God is Love and and that whatever transpires has within it, the capacity to reveal that Love. I do believe that Love is the unifying principle of all things. And being such, there is an active and attractive impulse of Love that bring things together in an order that facilitates Love’s expression. How that shows up can appear to some as miracles and to others as catastrophes depending on the thoughts they have chosen to be attracted to or distracted by. I have chosen Love for both.
As I was reading, the above scripture popped in my head. When it first came to mind, my first thought was about material goods. But as I contemplated it, I recalled that material goods are the lowest expression of goods for they are an effect and not a cause. Consider that I can give a sandwich to a homeless person and not give a damn about them. I can give it because of guilt, convenience, or because I want to be seen as a good person by others. Whereas, if I love all people, I cannot withhold from the person what Love dictates I give them. Perhaps it will be a meal. Maybe it will be a prayer. Maybe it will be my life. Maybe it will mean sending them away seemingly empty handed for reasons that neither of us can point to. I don’t know. Love knows. And I desire to go the way of Love.
My point is that the world’s goods are more than material things. The world’s goods are all things that can be used for Love’s purposes. But we won’t know what that is unless Love abides in us. Only Love knows what is the good from moment to moment and through whom that good must come.
I think we all have our unique goods to give for Love’s purposes and that no good is above the other when appropriately offered. I know this might be difficult to understand from the perspective of competition and temporal linearity that we often operate from. But like the story of the Widow’s mite shows, the Divine Economy does not calculate as we do apart from Love’s guidance. If for Love’s purposes one person is called to show kindness to a neighbor who is actively gossiping on them and another is called to build a business that employs several people paying each of them a living wage, they are not less than equal if they are both done for Love’s purposes. For we do not know each activity’s rippling effect across time—neither as a healing for the past or as a gateway to greater blessings in the future. All we can know for certain is whether we chose to align ourselves with Love when we had the opportunity to do so. Did we allow Love to abide in us?
In writing this, I chose to give my good this morning. I pray I do throughout the day. And I pray that if you come in contact with this at the right moment, the ripple effect will be that you will ask for Love’s guidance for this moment.
Yours in Love.