In the quiet of morning, when thoughts are free to surface without the clamor of everything else, the needs of the day seem manageable and ordered. Emotions are free to wash over me without interruption or fear of discovery. The blessings are clear, and the losses cut as deeply as they require. Everything is waiting on up ahead.
The day emerges slowly with the sun, and there is time for everything — a time to rejoice, a time to mourn, a time for love, and wait a minute: Must there really be a time for hate? What do we gain except bitter almond when we give hate our time of day?
The Old Testament poet said there is a time for love, a time for hate, a time for war, a time for peace. But the New Testament savior said it’s all wrapped up in Love God and Love One Another. Is there really a time for hate, or a time for war, if our mission is Love?
Oh, I don’t deny that men and women squabble and fight and otherwise overlook how little time we have for such nonsense. And 7 billion people will have 7 billion understandings of what Love is and how to express Love. One person’s words of love may be another person’s hate speech, and vice versa. Is conflict inevitable? Conflict is the stuff of literature and adventure and a great love story. But hate? But war? These are signs of sickness, and the goal with any illness is to heal, to find a cure, to eradicate the disease if we can.
In the still of the morning, it seems so simple to inject love into every transaction. But it does seem inevitable that the day ahead will bring a flash of anger, outrage, incomprehension, ugliness, and there will be the hatred and the rumors of war again in all their inglory. Perhaps the best we can accomplish is the effort, to try to love, to try to keep in mind what is, after all, a concept of only six words: Love God and Love One Another. Of course, some will argue whether God even exists and dismiss the notion altogether, and others will argue that some people are not worthy of our love, but the nature of real love is that there are no conditions.
Sure as Judas betrayed Jesus, I feel certain that I will betray the mission of Love sometime during the day ahead, sadly enough, but is there a better goal than to Love God and Love One Another as best I can? Can I harm my neighbor by approaching her with love? Can I hurt my neighbor by treating him with love?
And from a selfish standpoint, being patient and kind and keeping no record of wrongs and the like is easier on my soul. If I relinquish the bile, I relax the tension in my body.
The day begins to press in, but perhaps this reflection will linger for a while and underline my interactions, and maybe a spirit of love can spread through me to the next person down the line, and that will be a start. At the very least, it’s worth a try.