I want to start talking about what people perceive “church” to be. I want to talk about how the feminine and/or romantic side of religion. I want to talk about the maternal instincts of both church and God. …and how the LORD God isn’t a single parent (so to speak). But this is going to take a few steps at a time. Do you have the patience for this? Do I?
Before I even get started with an introduction, I can hear Stevie Wonder sing, “Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?” playing in my head. If you don’t know this song, I’ll just tell you that it was written for his new baby girl when she was born. The thing that puts the song over the top, IMO, is that Stevie Wonder is one of the great musicians known also for being a blind-man. This man didn’t have to literally look at his baby girl to know she was lovely, he just held her in his arms, and he knew… Life was never going to be the same.
There’s differently a few lessons we could all learn here.
I readily acknowledge that I live in a culture where the best of us long for the stories of true love. Not just “true love” of romantic stories, but even within the family, even with best friends who can & do stay true friends. Whether fiction or real life stories, we long to hear about people who might actually live outside themselves and regard the well-being of others, maybe even more than themselves. Stories where people benefit by giving one to another fearlessly, in love (or because of love).
It’s what to true romantics desire, not just romantic love-stories, but something even deeper than romantic sentiments. A chord striking all the way down to the depths of one soul where one’s core-person must respond with truth or totally cut themselves off of truth all together. Deep calls to deep, and I particularly long to hear it!
Yet somehow, there are a multitude of people who can live without even flinching over these deep truths of love, fearlessness, self-sacrifice. As a matter of fact they’ve written these things off to fantasy, chivalry, stupidity, romantic-notion, unreality, idealism. I might boldly wonder aloud if it isn’t these types of “realist”, who can’t enjoy these depths, may actually have contributed to incarceration of those who do dream, hope, and seek. Because if the story is too much to even entertain in one’s mind for a single moment, than how much worse to actually participate in such things in real life? Maybe a different system could be built to confine such foolishness and even write it off as “romantic notion” or better yet maybe we could just subjugate a segment of those who think like this, blame them, and then rewrite what “the rest of us” should practice & believe!
Sound like a bitter conspiracy on my part? Well if you like conspiracies hold on, I’ve got a good one for you. But for this moment I’ll use the simple riddle by an old band called GS Megaphone, back in its day.
“A ship on a voyage could sink in the deep.
A ship in the shallow could crack on the reef.
But only ashore is it safe where it is built
And only ashore is it useless.
Imagine the world without romance. Imagine the world without music. Imagine the world without someone imagining.”
– GS Megaphone
We need dreamers. We need the romantics. We need people who can and want to imagine more. WE are still needed in church, religion, faith, relational spiritual matters, and in seeking truth. And we need to not be hurt or afraid or offended by all other who think differently than we do. I personally know dreamers, romantics, idealist are as soft as we’re always made out to be. We have our rough edges. The only people who don’t come with rough edges are those who live in a bubble. We need to be fearless. We need to rediscover the beauty of intuition, and we need to courageously engage forgiveness (because what’s a love story without forgiveness?). We need to shed division.
It strikes me how many times God says in the Bible that he will “drive out your enemies” and yet we think it’s own task. We must believe the LORD God has our best interest in mind. The Bible says that “perfect love cast out fear” How cool is that? Love makes imperfection disappear. Strength comes from right-living, also known as righteousness. We need to understand who we are and not be afraid to live it. What God created is still Good.
Are you ready for this..?