Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"It takes all kinds of kinds..."

"Ever since the beginning,
to keep the world spinning,
tt takes all kinds of kinds..."

Seriously, if you can listen to Miranda Lambert's "All Kinds of Kinds," without bawling, you are a much more self-possessed, and emotionally-collected, person than I am.

One of my daughters sent this song to me today and asked me to write something using it as the keynote. Once I stopped weeping, I couldn't wait. I knew exactly what I felt. And that is all I can ever really write out from...what I feel.

I've written about this experience before, but I've rarely, if ever thought of it in this context -- humanity's great need for love and understanding.

When I was a girl I dreamed of houses. My dream house had a particular size, feel, even color -- the palest shade of buttery yellow. It had a wide front porch and sat under a canopy of tall shade trees.

I was sure that everyone, and I mean everyone, wanted that same dream house. And I was frantic at the thought of it. Why, there couldn't be all that many of them in the world.

One Sunday after church we were driving home with my brother and sister-in-law who we were visiting that weekend. She suggested to her husband that they drive us past their dream house. Sitting in the back seat of their car, I was devastated. They lived in a wonderful town full of cute clapboard victorian farmhouses with wide front porches. I was sure they wanted one of them. Didn't everyone?

But as we passed adorable dream-house after adorable dream-house, in mature neighborhoods with tall trees and sidewalks all cracked and heaving from ancient roots, they didn't say a word.

Before long, we were leaving town and passing vast cornfields. Then we turned into a new housing development still under construction and pulled up in front of a beautiful, modest new home with a two car attached garage, a wide empty green lawn, straight sidewalks, and tiny little trees.

My brother and sister-in-law were giddy with joy. This was their dream home. They didn't want my dream home. It didn't appeal to them. I suddenly felt free. I got it. God was moving each of us to love what He needed us to love so that the entire universe was balanced and loved. We didn't all love the same thing. If we all loved the same thing it would be disastrous.

I was giddy with happiness, joy...and hope.

I believe that Mary Baker Eddy speaks to this when she says, in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

"Love is impartial and universal
in its adaptation and bestowals.
It is the open fount which cries,
"Ho everyone,
come ye unto the waters..."

Love moves us to love.  And it adapts our desires to be exactly what they need to be, in order to keep the whole world spinning. It moves one of us to love one thing, so that someone else can love another.

And perhaps, sometimes Love moves us to love what is socially questionable, so that others might have the opportunity grow in compassion, grace, and understanding.  To grow in our understanding of what it means to love the way God loves.

I'm not talking about "tolerance," although that's a notable starting point. No, tolerance says, "there's something not quite right about what I see, but I can tolerate it."

The kind of love I believe will make a real difference in the world, is the kind that goes beyond tolerance. It says, "It is my nature to love, and not judge. I will trust your heart, and your life, to God -- Love's -- control, direction, and guidance, and just love you, and accept you, as you are.

This kind of love demands an extraordinary measure of trust in God's power to govern His creation. It requires a full-on surrender to "...And may Thy word enrich the affections of all mankind and govern them." (from Eddy's "Daily Prayer" in The Manual of the Mother Church) It asks us to put mankind's affections in God's hands, and trust without wavering.

It is so easy to think that our way of loving, our way of being in the world, our way of thinking is the one that everyone should adopt. But if this were the case, where would be the need for "growth in grace -- expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds." (Eddy)

I have never grown in patience when everything is going according to my plan, my timing, my outline of how the world should look, feel, operate. I have never become more meek or loving without the demand to rise above intolerance, anger, or myself, especially.

When asked about someone else's choices, decisions, behavior Jesus replied, "What is that to thee, follow thou me."

This is what I am hearing when I listen to Miranda's amazing song.  The call to love.  I am so very, very grateful that my daughter shared it with me today and asked me to think more deeply about its message. And yes, I am still more than a bit choked up. Love does that to me.

and so, this is offered today, with Love...


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