If you had everything taken away from you– all of your possessions and your job or vocation, what would you be? Or, WHO would you be?
It’s a fairly loaded question, because as human beings we define ourselves and each other by what we do or what we have. We work all our lives to accumulate that which gives us “status”, i.e. a homeowner, a businessman, a teacher, a cop, a preacher, a carpenter, a bricklayer. No doubt as you read each of those descriptions you thought of someone who is one. It also gives us a place in society; at least in our society.
But what if we lost all that? Who would we be in society without the education, training, and experiences that “make us what we are”?
A baby. We would be a baby. No education, no training, no experiences to guide us in our life that is now moving forward, and knowing only of being hungry or happy, hot or cold, comfort or fear.
And love. Love is not something we can acquire on a whim. Love can only be given, and received. Nothing physical is attached to Love; it is of itself a “thing” to be cherished in both the giving and receiving. While expressed in human emotion and actions, Love is both a heavenly promise and a worldly treasure, stronger than any feeling we know.
If as adults we were suddenly thrust into a society where we had nothing, Love would still define us. And if that is the only thing that defines us when nothing else can, surely it defines us now.
If we cleared away all the hurry, the clutter, the appointments, the meetings, and the rush in our lives and spent more time on loving and caring for each other, how much better would it be in our lives as well as in our society? This is not an impossibility, though it does require discipline and spiritual focus.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” was the second greatest commandment Jesus said; the first was “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.”