During the whole Tyndale and Bush fiasco, and after reading Dan’s post on Love, and pondering the attacks of many commenters accusing us of being unloving toward Gary Nelson I have to keep asking myself the question if it is possible to actually love a public figure. I don’t mean if you become famous no one can love you. Rather, I wonder if you can love someone that you don’t know but only know through media, stories or rumours? There is different scenarios that come to mind that makes me question the love that people say they have for someone. Think back to the death of Princess Diana and the onslaught of tears by people all over the world, most of those who have never met her. Think back just a little while ago the death of Jack Layton, and the emotional response that it drew from Canadians all over the country. Finally, think about Jesus Christ that who we read about in the bible and the connection that people have with him from all over the world, many still moved by his death and entire religions built on this one man, who none of us physically know.
When you don’t know someone, it’s not very easy to be patient, kind, non-envious, non-boastful, humble, honourable, selfless and not easily angered towards them. I would suggest rather that when you don’t know someone that all you can do is love or hate the way that person makes you feel. If the person makes you feel safe, then when that person is attacked, you feel attacked. If the person makes you feel important, then when that person is ridiculed, you feel a little bit smaller and insignificant. How does one really love someone if they don’t know them? How can one really defend someone they don’t know?
As we move forward with political elections, I’ll never cease to be amazed at the personal attacks and love letters that I read from both sides of the spectrum of people sure that there leader is amazing, perfect and without flaws and all the others are immoral, wretched people out to intentionally ruin our country. Everyone thinks they love their leader. Everyone hates the opposition. May I suggest that it’s probably the way your leader makes you feel that you love, or the fact that your leader tows the political line you lean towards. You don’t love them.
As we move forward in understanding our relationship to our faith. It’s probably good to also realize that many of us love Jesus because of the way he makes us feel, or what he does for us. Or maybe we think that Jesus just agrees with whatever we think. No wonder we love him. Most people don’t love Jesus, they love the way Jesus makes them feel.
Let’s not just assume that the feelings of comradery that we have with people, especially those we don’t know, are those of love or hate. They are probably just selfish longings that we don’t want to admit that we project on these people that we don’t know. Just a few random thoughts.