My Psalm 37
A Season for Love
All religions are based on a story, a myth, an oral tradition that some people have taken on faith and believed. Evidence of life is not determined by whether or not one believes but such beliefs can enhance, improve, and even give reason for life. Science is very clear about the effect quality of life has on a living being and having a positive belief system is included in quality of life.
Whether or not one is a follower of the baby whose birth is celebrated at Christmas, observes the month of fasting called Ramadan, rejoices for eight days the miracle of light called Hanukkah, or whether one participates in some other faith system or claims to have none at all, we all have certain beliefs. We hold our beliefs to be truths and, to us, they are as self-evident as any court-worthy evidentiary facts. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Declaration of Independence, the first legal document of the United States of America, declares that we have beliefs and the right to them.
At the top of the page are 88 smiling faces (or should be if I counted correctly!). Multiply those by 1000 and you have the number of chromosomes in the average human body. Chromosomes do a multitude of things. They are tightly coiled, organized structures of our DNA. Immediately above this paragraph are also a group of smiling faces. Both groups look fairly similar, one a bit more spread out that then other, but generally speaking, they are the same. Or are they? Actually, one group has two less faces than the other. Can you tell which is which? Of course not! Two less faces really doesn’t make that much of a difference. However, wars have been fought and are currently being fought for what those two less faces represent. All acts of violence supposedly in the name of love – love of culture, of nationality. Actually, wars are most often fought for love of greed and power.
Less than two thousand of the eighty-eight thousand chromosomes in the average human body affect ethnic features – eye shape, skin color, hair type, etc. Multiple those two less faces by 1000 and you have exactly what I am describing. Two thousand of anything is a large number but put it in context and it can be practically nothing. After all, if I gave you 88 M & M’s and then asked for only two back in payment, would you hesitate?
Christians worship a God who gave his son, the promised Messiah, to be sacrificed for them. Jesus was the love of God in human form. This child legally was not Caucasian since the legal definition of Caucasian is someone whose ancestry is European. Any child born in Bethlehem would have been Middle Eastern or, in common terms, Arab. Born into a Jewish household, he would have been considered Jewish, Israeli in the common vernacular.
What color is the love seen on the Gaza Strip today or in the actions of those kidnapping girls whose only crime is trying to receive an education? Some see Love as lily white; some will see it bronzed and brown, or almond-eyed, some with a yellow hue. Most will envision Love just as they are. Those who are truly religious, truly spiritual and open-hearted, will know that Love comes in all colors. Love can be manifested in any body and should be practiced each hour with every action.
During this Ordinary time of Pentecost, this period of Ramadan, the living of the Torah, the practicing of Buddha, the recognition of Hindu beliefs, and the carrying out of all other types of faith, I hope that the sudden intuitive leap of understanding of Love comes down to us all. We need to stop filling in the picture with fear and start living the faith we profess. After all, Love does not limit us. Why do we limit it to just one color…or shape …or size?
Today is Malala Day, a day to celebrate the life of a survivor, a young girl of one belief, attacked by those of another, and brought back medically by the hands of many faiths and skills. Her newest campaign is #SurviveThat. May today we all survive our faiths and spread the strength of love.
My Psalm 37
It is hard, O God, to believe.
The wicked seem so much happier.
The evil seems to win more often.
What do the faithful have
What do the faithful gain?
Where is the love of faith?
Where is the harvest we should reap from religion?
There is so much suffering, Lord.
There are children dying.
Innocence seems to be a hindrance
While Trickery seems to lead to success.
A life means nothing.
Why are we here?
Why must we shed tears?
You promised salvation, O Father.
Charlatans must be overcome
And Love must be our guide.
Help us trust in our faith and live by it:
Not by fear but with love.
Blessed are those who survive
For by their faith will the world thrive.