Falcone's Crossroads

Where This Meets That

Called to be Lovers

“And Jesus was a sailor, when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him, he said,
‘All men will be sailors, then, until the sea shall free them.’
But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone.
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind.”
“Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen

Above is one of my favorite verses from singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.  Although Cohen is Jewish, he is an ordained Buddhist monk, and as evidenced above, has long woven elements from other religions into his works.  He exhibits the notion that God doesn’t necessarily fit himself into any one religious “box,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Caucasia Bezengi, RussiaIn eighth grade, I felt called to convert from Methodism to Catholicism.  By my early 20’s, I questioned the existence of God altogether.  Eventually, I came back around and realized that I am indeed a Catholic, and that realization that has been reinforced repeatedly since.

At the same time, I recognize that God is infinite and mysterious.  From love, he created mankind “in his image,” free to love and to give, free to collaborate and to aid, and yet, time and again, we people lose the “forest” of God among the “trees” of dogma.

All this begs the question, why does God give us free will if he only intends us to choose one way?  The answer, I think, is that he doesn’t intend that.  In creating us free, he gives us both imagination and perspective.  It’s no wonder, then, that we as a species actually use these gifts in seeking out – or, for that matter, rejecting – our creator.

In his greatness, it’s no stretch to say that God far surpasses our wildest imaginations, so we hold dear to our perspectives.  Our perspectives, after all, are frequently hard-earned reflections of ourselves, and we don’t like to be wrong.

The truth is that even our hardest-won perspectives remain abstract things that can only truly be concrete in our imaginations.  Life is a dynamic thing, full of diverse creation and creative interaction.  Resisting change is to resist life itself, and so is resisting other perspectives.

I see elements of truth in all major belief systems.  I see God working in all who lovingly seek truth, regardless of what a person calls himself – or, for that matter, what other people call him.  In those opposing that great quest, I see instead devilish pride, worshipful of man’s ways above God’s.

I try to follow Jesus out of the belief is he is God’s love incarnate.  Jesus is love.  And that’s what I love about him.  Jesus called us to make disciples of the world, using love as our sole method.  Powerful stuff.

The ways of the world are tiresome.  Worrying.  Opposing.  Hating.  By contrast, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The last leaves of NovemberJesus gives rest, because Jesus is love.  Jesus declares that, “all the law and the prophets” hang on love. (Matthew 22:36-40)  Not dogmas.  Not labels.  Love!  And so he calls us to be lovers.

As a result, regardless of what course the rest of humanity takes, Christians should be counted on to love at all costs.  When all else in this world boils down, Christians really shouldn’t see Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, or Jews, nor, for that matter, atheist, agnostic, left, right, black, white, gay, strait, or confused.

Love is by definition located in the precise center of all division.  Only when we buy into all these worldly oppositions do such issues get complicated, for they drive us away from love, away from God’s image in us.

No, Christians should see instead brothers and sisters, and love them, then let God take care of the rest.

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One comment on “Called to be Lovers

  1. mdmack
    March 21, 2014

    This is a good message, but the pictures are absolutely spectacular. The one with the bare harwoods and the 1 cluster of fall leaves is fabulous. It is simple and yet super. Love you Mom

    ________________________________

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This entry was posted on March 21, 2014 by in Philosophers' Row and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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