“But when you do what you love, it is not necessary for you to seek the approval of everyone.” Marwa Elselehdar
And yet how often we do. So often it is the judgement of others that decides whether or not we continue doing what we love. Relationships, jobs, dreams, hopes. So much of our living we allow to be dictated by others. Because compromise is not a bad thing. Listening to others is not a bad thing. Looking at the big picture is not a bad thing.
It is just not “necessary”. Not all the time. Not for the big decisions.
I wouldn’t be married now if other’s approval was necessary. I wouldn’t have the job I have. The lifestyle I enjoy. The absence from guilt and obligation I have found.
Nor would I have ever allowed myself to put down the bible. Allowed myself to walk with GSHJ without a bible in hand. Come back again and again to a reality that Love is and I Am.
A reality that excludes what you believe, how you dress, where you live, how you speak, what you consider important, whether you even agree or disagree with me. Love is and I Am. Flawed. Imperfect. Human. All those things that Love is and I Am. Because if you bring me your inhumanity I will anger. Bring me entitled self-centredness and I will resist. Show me your human imperfect flaws and I cannot promise to agree with you.
But that is why Love is so strong.
It isn’t necessary for me or you to seek the approval of everyone. That is why Love is so universal and timeless. Because Love transcends approval and inhumanity. Love requires no language of mere words. Love has no need of so much we regard as necessary.
Love lives beyond life and death. Doesn’t need a real or imagined cross. An imaginary or factual bible. An actual or fictionalised God. Love transcends even THAT need for universal approval.
Marwa Elselehdar is a captain. A female captain who has come to the attention of the news media. Her name was tweeted as the captain of the EverGreen. The ship temporarily blocking the Suez Canal. A single mistaken twitter tweet. Retweeted into a localised twitter storm. How connected we are today.
The truth is that she was nowhere near the Suez Canal nor even a passenger on the EverGreen.
As one of the 2% of “female captains” in our global shipping world she is familiar with fiction. She is familiar with the imperfection and flaws of humans. Of different realities and beliefs.
If all those heading to church digitally or in-person today rue how few “believe” as they do – then imagine Marwa and her own hopes. And yet here is Love again …
“But when you do what you love, it is not necessary for you to seek the approval of everyone.”
Look at the example in the bible. Look at those around me and you. Look at those who live by Love. Those who love without need or reason. Whose love is neither giving or getting but just is. Whose lives are full of something beautiful and yet who seem oblivious to the joy they bring. Who are remarkably unremarkable. Who cannot see themselves as others do. Perhaps because they never seek or need the approval of everyone.
That IS Love. Imperfect and flawed and human Love.
Because for Love to be perfect …for ANYTHING to be perfect … needs the approval of everyone.
But when you meet me where I am, when I meet you where you are … Love can be and is perfect. When I and you see through and beyond the masks and coverings and trappings of our daily life … Love can be and is perfect. When you and I connect in these digital blogs across the globe – stripped of everything but my soul and yours – free of how I look, sound or behave – liberated from you seeing me and me seeing you – allowing each of us to be who we are inside …
Love can be and is perfect.
Today many will celebrate a story of sacrifice and resurrection. Of sin and washing sin away. Of God and man. You may be right. But the Gospel Story for me is the story of Love. Unconditional Love.
Set in a world of condition and transaction. Of approval and disapproval. Where Love was judged to be Love only when perfect – which needs the approval of everyone. And as more and more “approved” – so came more and more transaction and condition. Came more and more expectation of giving to get. Became words of sacrifice and service. Became a heavy burden of obligation and duty. Became in fact seeking the very approval of correctness that Love is not. Became being seen to be correct and approved of by others. Of seeking to “fit in”. Of being “one of us”.
Which is why “they” turned against a Messiah who is Love. Called Love weakness. Despised Love’s needlessness. Scorned Love’s uncondition. Dismissed Love for lack of reward and recognition. Nailed Love to a cross. Sealed Love in a tomb. Laughed and joked at Love’s demise. Picked and picked Love apart. Then as much as today. And yet look at us today.
Still seeking the perfection of Love. Still debating the bible. Still dissecting “love”. Still despising its weakness. Its burden. Its sacrifice.
Love lives always.
But is never “perfect”.
For “perfect” is of transaction and condition.
And that is not Love.