My Mom’s 85th birthday will be celebrated in a few weeks. Our time with her now become hours of reflection of years past. During a recent visit, I remember her recalling times during Wold War 2, when she, her sister Gwen and her Mom (Flora) and Dad (Samuel) upon the hearing of the war siren, would quickly go the damp and cold unfinished basement and stay there until it was considered safe to leave. They were required to have all of the lights in the house turned off to make it more difficult for enemy aircraft to identify their location. In the quiet but eerie darkness, with the sound of bombers overhead and sirens screeching a warning of potential danger from submarines and U-boats, they held each others hand. Unable to see each other in the darkened cellar, their physical touch was a symbol of their love for each other. It was enough to make then feel safe and reduce the inexcusable fear of war.
There is a very old saying “There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear!”
Yesterday, our son Richard was married to a beautiful young woman, Christina. The months of planning, scheduling and preparation resulted in an intimate afternoon wedding ceremony and an enjoyable evening of marital celebration. But what caught my attention was the innocence of the day. Two young people, beginning a life journey together, with a love so pure and innocent, perfect in nature, undefiled by people, circumstance or event. It is this perfect love that makes them believe in each other and themselves. The fear of a an undefined future is unbeknown to them. Their lives are filled with endless possibility. Their perfect love for each other has overshadowed any fear life may present. How wonderful!
But then I wondered why we try so hard to destroy that perfect love birthed in the witness of family and friends. Reality TV and movies of fantasy will try to convince them they must live an unrealistic life of materialism. Hollywood stars and socialites, present lives that must be filled with hedonism in order to achieve happiness. Social media, advertisers and sponsors, will impose upon them impossible lives of perfection so much so that they will fear if they do not look and behave as suggested they will be inferior to a false model of acceptance. Family and friends will fill their minds with stories of inadequacy and discriminatory judgement.
My fear is our world will work diligently to cause what is today perfect to become imperfect tomorrow.
Wouldn’t it be better if our time was devoted to protecting that perfect love so they both live lives of possibility and blessing rather than ones filled with fear and restriction.
How can we accomplish this? We must ensure our home and theirs become an incubator of love. Regardless of life’s unrealistic demands, of peoples unjust criticisms, of society’s unwarranted partiality, of unacceptable caste-based discrimination, of ill-conceived religious idealology, or stereotypical assessments, our home must continue to be a safe haven of unconditional acceptance and unrestricted support. For their love to remain perfect, it must be fed and supported by a passion for good.
I can only imagine the fear a young man or woman experiences when first introduced to the realities of the battlefield. The survivors of many wars past, will testify their endurance was fueled by the perfect love of a father, mother, sister, brother, husband, wife, partner and friend. War continues and will no doubt always be with us. War creates fear. But the enemy who attempts to destroy our way of living, our culture, our faith and our hope will fail, not because of stealth warplanes, guided missiles, laser bombs or computer designed soldiers. No. The fear the enemy promotes can be and will be destroyed by the united love of country and community.
Let us agree then, our purpose will be to protect the most powerful weapon known to mankind, that is perfect love. Perfect love casts out, removes, eliminates, destroys, cancels, impoverishes, immobilizes all attempts to fill our lives with fear.
Your comments are welcomed!