Locking or unlocking? To be or not to be? Vaxxer or anti-vaxxer? News or fake news? Live in fear or live in confidence?
When I was a child I was given a spoonful of olive oil on a regular basis. Hated the stuff. Had no idea of the scientific efficacy. Squirmed and bitched. But always opened my mouth eventually and under protest. I have no idea whether those spoons of olive oil helped or not. Just as I have seen butter demonised and lauded and demonised and forgotten. Or vegans become a thing – now with a taste-bud rousing variety of stuff to tempt anyone. That debate arouses as much passion as does covid.
Covid ain’t going away anytime soon. How to live with it successfully is still being debated. As for me … ? I have been double-jabbed with gratitude. It was an easy decision. Because of other medical reasons if I catch covid I don’t expect it to end well. Whereas if I catch it fully vaccinated I expect it to be an inconvenience. I see others protesting against vaccination. Yet I feel no need to demonstrate in the streets or on social media about the merits of vaccination. Nor about wearing masks or not. That is the job of my “parents” – in this case the institution of government incorporating as much science as makes their political decisions credible – just as mum and dad’s olive oil credibility came from being “mum and dad” – they wanted the best for me. I think government wants the best for all of us. Why would they not? Governments have a habit of coming and going on a five-year cycle dependant on their popularity with us.
I have never thought of religion as political-free. But I had this belief it was love-full.
Now I think that is an aspiration rather than reality. I have been too often told and shown that “love is not enough”. But aspirations are like objectives and goals. Subject to revision. To dropping or keeping. To changing or not. Aspirational love comes with taught credibility for not loving. Comes with we would if we could but we can’t because of sin – and yet teaches that my sin has been washed away by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ – every week in every church in every symbolic communion and the giving and taking of bread and wine.
What is there to be aspirational about when it comes to love?
And yet like the secular and political debates about locking or unlocking … to be or not to be … vaxxer or anti-vaxxer … news or fake news … live in fear or live in confidence … Love remains aspirational in church. Still an academic dissection of four different kinds of love. Still excused because of sin. Still the remit of one so Holy we can never emulate “love” but in a flawed and conditional way.
I stopped looking for sin a few years back – wrote about it here. I look for love not sin. Look for goodness and light not darkness and fear. Stopped studying the bible for insights into my taught eternal complexity that is God and Love. Focused on Love me, love you, love something bigger that binds us together. Stopped worrying about someone else’s religiously qualified opinion as to my “biblical correctness”. Listened to only One.
One who smiles when I write like this. One who sees the good in me no matter how much I can’t. One who cares not a fig whether I rock up to church on a Sunday or not. One who lives in the moment and not just the bible. One who sees no difference between a poor wrecked homeless person to be pitied and the billionaires of this world protected and bubbled in their money. One who worries less about being correct and more about relationship. One who sees no condition or transaction (or aspiration!) in love.
And just like being jabbed or not, that belief is my personal choice. Just like it a personal choice for each of us and what we believe. And just as I have come to believe being un-jabbed makes all of us less safe, so too I have come to believe that making love aspirational AND conditional does too.
So I wonder … how can free choice not be of love? And if of love, then how can choice that make others unsafe be of love?