"Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
Give a little bit
Ill give a little bit of my love to you
Theres so much that we need to share
So send a smile and show you care..."
- Roger Hodgson
Sorry Roger, and Supertramp, but this version of "Give a Little Bit" by the GooGoo Dolls is my favorite, and it's actually the one that I thought about this morning as I drove along the Mississippi River on a breezy autumn day, gray with the promise of rain and filled with all the colors of a Thanksgiving card from Hallmark.
In the air space between "Morning Edition" and "The Diane Rehm Show," our local NPR station shared "news" stories on the "swine flu epidemic," the availability of a preventative vaccine, and the likelihood of it making a difference "in time"...or at least before most of the country had experienced symptoms. I couldn't help but remember Jesus' injunction to preach, or share, the gospel...the good news...as well as his statement, "I am not come to destry, but to fulfil. But how to do that from the seat of my SUV on a cool October day along the Great River Road.
While praying for the "good news," as I listened to the "breaking news," I think the words contagion, contract, spread, share, and catch were used more times within that news blink, than I have fingers on my hands...and toes. So as I drove, this little song from the eighties flu into my heart. What was I giving "a little bit of" today. Was I sharing germs, microbes, bacteria...or was I giving off kindness, warmth, gratitude, a smile.
I didn't need to be afraid of my child sharing a drinking fountain at school or taking the hand of a younger student who needed assistance on the playground ...she was spreading love, and in the power and presence of that divine influence on humanity...there was nothing but good being passed from hand to hand, and from heart to heart.
Each word being used, ignorantly or maliciously, to excite fear and twist the beauty of what is true and always had been, could be reclaimed for God, the only Cause or Creator of any idea, concept, action...word. "Contagion" to start with. What was really contagious in our environment - the place we all live and move and have our being, and the space that dwells in us - individually and collectively? A smile, joy, appreciation. What "spread" quickly? Good news, the sound of laughter, generosity. What could I "contract"? I could contract fellowship, inspiration, understanding. What did I want to "share"? A hug, a prayer, a song. What would I "catch" if I moved freely and fearlessly "among the people?" A wave of excitement, a tune, a right idea, up with a friend. What was "influenza-ing" me? Love, the desire to know God, a deeper search for spiritual answers, the call of my divinely-appointed purpose.
This had been so clear to me one morning, not long ago, when all the symptoms of "not feeling well" niggled at me like insistent little gremlins. Their slimy little voices urged me to be fearful of what I might be carrying with me as I climbed the stairs to wake the girls for school. I shook them off and scattered their scrawny, measly gnome-like bodies to the four corners of my room as I leapt out of bed with unusual vigor and happily sang a joyful, made-up-as-I-went song about all the things I had to be grateful to God for....all the spiritual gifts I would be sharing with my girls that morning...patience, happiness, light-heartedness, order. That was the end of those silly little monsters....they must have taken off at the first sound of laughter.
Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:
"Resist evil, error of every sort, and it will flee from you..."
And in an article titled, "Contagion" from her Miscellaneous Writings 1883 - 1896, Eddy writes:
"If only the people would believe that good is more contagious than evil, since God is omnipresence, how much more certain would be the doctor's success, and the clergyman's conversion of sinners."
In this same article she also offers, in defense of humanity:
"If he believed as sincerely that health is catching when exposed to contact with healthy people, he would catch their state of feeling quite as surely and with better effects than he does the sick man's.
I think these "good" ideas are so inherently familiar to us as spiritual thinkers. I believe that they are our native habitat. And since the very nature of Spirit, God, is good, and we are spiritual, it is absolutely natural for us to always be on the lookout for good, for health, for kindness. We are drawn to it...and to sharing it. We are as "most at home" in the company of health, as the quetzal is in the leaf-filtered sunlight of the Rain Forest's ancient canopy trees.
When we refuse to let anything but God define our actions, our lives, the words and ideas we traffic in, then, anything that is unlike His goodness flees, scrambles, runs, can't get away from us fast enough! We, in our loving, in our joy and compassion, become an environment that is not conducive to it survival or incubation.
And so I thought, as I drove along the great river that carries barges filled with coal and corn, "what will I give to my world today...what will I spread quickly?" A little bit...no, a lot...of my heart, my appreciation, my hunger for the Truth, my ompassion, my silence, my prayers...especially my prayers.
In this giving is my immunity from any false influence...washed away in the affluence of a roaring, rushing river of Love.
Time to give a little bit, give alot of our hearts to you...
Kate Robertson, CS
[photo credit: Heidi Cooper 2008]