What an amazing idea…Loving G_d and Loving Others.
The first part of that concept has always been fairly simple for me. I grew up in a Christian home and so G_d was always a part of my life. I had some rough patches where things in life didn’t go exactly as I had hoped and my love wavered. But loving the Creator has always more or less – been there.
BUT – Loving others…well, that’s another story. Growing up in the same church that taught me to Love G_d, I also learned how to be suspicious, condemning, and ultimately unloving of others (at least those that didn’t sit in the pew next to me). Since that time in my life I’ve watched how society (not just the church) has used fear mongering, scare tactics, and sensationalism to perpetuate the notion of suspicion and outrage at others.
BUT – over the past few years…something wonderful has happened to my soul. I find myself delighting in others. Folks I don’t know, never spoke to, haven’t even met – they have begun to bring me deep and abiding joy. Not just laughing (at or with) but a bubbling up of gratitude for their person, their life, their presence.
There is a young man that wanders the main road next to my home. He always has a song playing – sometimes in the headphones he’s sporting and other times it seems there is music that just follows him. This young man creates deep joy in my being…he dances unabashedly up and down the street. He’s talented too! He freely shares his gift of dance and joy for anyone that takes a moment to notice. Because of him, I often find myself blessing G_d – thanking Him for the creativity and beauty that He has built into His Creation – WOW!
I absolutely love videos (pictures and stories) that show the creativity and beauty of others, like these:
Elderly Gentleman Listening to Music
I’ve discovered that there is so much more to love about people then to revile – so much to be impressed by then to be depressed by – so much more to celebrate then to denigrate.
I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life celebrating the lives of others as opposed to judging and critiquing them. Won’t you join me in Loving Others?
ps…I’d love for you to add some links of videos, pictures, and stories of others that bring you joy and hope in humanity!
4 thoughts on “Love G_d; Love Others”
I have to admit, I have been on a similar journey. It seems I have always been taught a “us” and “them” mentality. I don’t think this was an overt teaching, more submersive. Kind of “I got a ticket” and God has blessed me. We can feel better about ourselves by serving every now and again, but we would never look at the guy dancing down the street and see him as a creation of God. This is something that has been changing in me over the last couple of years. Loving God means loving others…it is not a seperate thing.
“Loving God means loving others…it is not a seperate thing.”
I think that for me, it was a realization that I didn’t have to feel a certain way towards an individual or group of people just because someone in power told me to. I remember thinking that it just didn’t feel right that I was supposed to condem those people just because they didn’t think, act, walk, talk, look like me. I feel freed now that I have come to the understanding that it’s in our differences that God rejoices. We weren’t created to be the same. We all have facets of the God that made us and it’s those facets that draw us to each other. If we say we love God, and truly mean it, then we love ALL of Him. Not just the pretty parts! It’s that love that spills over and allows us to truly love ourselves and everyone around us.
I love this Don… The simple concept of loving others instead of denigrating them. I believe it is in this moment when our familiar form of faith encounters the uncomfortable or unfamiliar that the image G_d hidden in all hearts is truly seen by faith or sadly not. I love the words of Dorothy Day who said we love G_d as much as we love those we love the least. Your a gift Pastor- keep shining!