I believe “love” (unselfish giving) is the greatest healing agent in the world. It’s probably the only thing that can heal our messiness. The Scripture says that love is the nature of God, so when we love, we are part of God. For “In Him we live, and move and have our being.” God emptied Himself into human form in the person of Jesus. The Bible tells us that we are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). If this is true, then we need to celebrate the sacredness of human nature, for each of us is an extension of God’s Spirit. This may be the only thing that will stop bullets, and “rumors” of wars.
Love may not be able to heal a tumor or Alzheimer’s or cure cancer (that’s debatable), but it can heal those who have it. It can take away fear. Love helps us to say “yes” to life. And when we do that, we accept the cycle of life and death, pain and comfort, the mountaintop experiences as well as the dark valleys. When we resist what is, we set ourselves up for deep disappointments and heartache. We think we are entitled to be pain free.
Emotional pain can be the deepest pain of all. For instance, when you love a spouse after 50 years of marriage, you feel that your world caves in and your grief is like a “wound” that takes forever to heal, if it ever does so. You don’t expect to get over it, you just get beyond it, realizing that life is still yours to live, and you just may or may not find happiness again. I’m one of those who are very blessed. I found happiness with another wonderful person in a second marriage, and this has brought “healing” in many ways.
Love never dies a natural death; it has to be killed. And it can be killed in a number of small ways, such as finding fault, unfair criticism, bickering, neglect and a hundred more ways. I believe all of us should memorize the words of St. Paul in I Corinthians: “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on having its own way.”
Love gives us “eyes of the heart”. In other words, it helps us to see the needs of the other person, and it helps us to love that person for who they are, not just what they can do for us. It helps us to appreciate the little things in nature. Last spring, I sat on my back porch watching a brown thrash taking worms to her little ones in the bush. It seems that love is built into the very nature of creation. Someone said, “The number one sin is to judge harshly.” That may be true, but I believe the number one sin is to take another person’s life. Judging someone harshly is no doubt the forerunner of killing. It’s easy to judge another person if they don’t believe as we believe, or vote like we vote, or look like we want them to look. “Love” helps us to see people in a different light. John’s Gospel put it this way: “How can we love God whom you have not seen unless you love your brother or sister whom you have seen?”
People in this country are debating gun control issues. It’s complicated and nothing assure us that violence will be controlled soon. But, isn’t this a spiritual issue? A gun doesn’t pull its own trigger. It’s a people problem. Consider these Biblical words: “Hatred stirs up trouble, but love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12). Or, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear” (I John 4:18). We have become a violent nation because of fear and other negative factors.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was right when he said that the only thing that will save this love-starved world is non-violence, and respecting the sacredness of human beings. Amen and amen.