Several years ago I became a Lay Speaker with the Methodist Church. Simply put it means I'm not a Minister but sometimes I act like one in church. Shortly after I got my certificate which proves you're A Lay Speaker, the Senior Pastor of our Church, graciously allowed me to give a sermon. It was not a complex subject I decided to preach about. It was "Love is too Weak A Word". I felt at the time (pre - George W. Bush's Presidency) that Love was not getting good press.
For me, when Barack Obama was elected and then inaugurated as President I thought that at last love had triumphed. Fear which leads to hate and destruction was to busy to notice that "Love Came to Town" and took over. I will cherish those days as long as I live. My Mother would have loved it as would've Dad but my Mother would've said that what she was witnessing was a miracle.
It was a miracle for me as well. I seen on TV hate (this time taking the form of racism) battling the overpowering forces of love in Selma, Montgomery, "I Have a Dream" and finally the Civil Rights Act. And for a few years the flood gates broke open and their were anti-war protests, Woodstock, Women's liberation and finally the sexual revolution! I am so glad I was in my late teens and my early twenties when that happened. And then just as we got going - Watergate, Reagan, Bush the First and Clinton getting a blow job and lying about it. I always thought that he should have been more clever with his lie. "Yes I had a blow job in the Oval Office but it was Hillary who gave it to me." No one would've believed that.
So Al Gore loses the election in the Supreme Court and we place a guy who you can have a beer with in the Presidency. May I point out here that President Obama can drink a beer as well as he demonstrated IN FRONT of cameras but I digress. After Bush became President we have had 9/11 and 9/12 (I'll talk about that more in a second), two wars that are STILL going on and now we have the Tea Party.
Where is love in this? It was there on 9/12. The world would have done anything to help us heal and grieve. But we were afraid and we eventually did what we as a human race has done for millennia - we went to war. I didn't say anything against the invasion of Afghanistan. I was mad and the enemy was not going to capitulate to a nation that would not fight. In hindsight, I realized that if we had turned to love and ask the world to help it might have done so. Perhaps terrorism could be eliminated by eliminating its root cause. Suffering in poverty. Pie in the sky? Idealism to the extreme? Perhaps. But I would argue it was not taking of Berlin and that ended World War II in Europe it was the Marshall Plan. For the first time in human history we restored our enemy. President Lincoln had the same idea after the Civil War but it ended with his death. "Charity to all with malice toward none." Pie in the sky? Just long overdue.
I'm not writing this for anyone but myself. No really. I don't have a lot of followers. But every day that I see fear leading to just plain stupidity and that leading to rationalizations that defy logic I am concerned that love is losing the media war. That love is too weak a word.
In tennis it means nothing and I find sometimes that is all it means to me. Nothing. But it is not nothing!!! Why do you think there is so much vitriol on the air and on the Internet? Love is stronger than any force in the Universe including Gravity and Dark Matter and Energy (you can't prove me wrong on those last three) and the only way some people feel they can fight it is to yell and tell lies and put fear in us. And why? Because those are all the things that love is not. Love isn't is fearful, loud or ignorant. It is patient and kind. I must live my life in love.
That doesn't mean that I'm not in mortal danger? No but who isn't? The fact is that love has literally saved my life. If it wasn't for love I would be dead for more than two years now (long story but true). Love works through us when we least expect it and when we do let it work through us the world changes. As fast as some would like? No but we must, like love, be patient and kind.
I know for myself that love needs me to be its voice, its hands and its feet. And so that is why I write about love this day. Love has given me the courage. Love is not too weak a word. I am.