As the year 2020 progresses and passes before our eyes, one can only wonder how a small disease-causing agent like the COVID-19 virus could upend the lives of millions of people across the globe. In my professional work as a nurse bioethicist, I have been called in numerous times to provide support and consultation to both family members who cannot visit their loved ones, and to medical staff who struggle with the limited medical options available for their patients and the ensuing moral distress. I wish I could take you into the hospital rooms where I can only virtually hold their hands when they weep and agonize.
Thank you for this well-articulated piece. I have come to believe that the reason Laodicea is so lukewarm, per John’s description in Revelation, is because we are, as a church, so focused on the minutia of the OT ritual hold-over laws. We judge people on the basis of what they eat, how they dress or look, if they wear jewelry, how they keep the Sabbath, etc. And it separates us, not only from each other, but distances us from those we would seek to charm with the gospel message of God’s unfailing and unconditional love.
Reminds me a bit about Trent Reznor and contrast with John Lennon. Trent Reznor had to battle personal demons, and try to find some meaning to climb up out of drug dependency and suicide, when he wrote about the gritty reality behind “Hurt”, and “Love is not enough”. Lennon, on the other hand, was an idealist, who wrote songs about love from perspective of a rather naive idealist.
I tend to believe Reznor more than I believe Lennon. Lennon’s love is a solution to all ills, in which recipes are never prescribed with any degree of specificity, and things just work… because love, and because you can imagine.
Reznor’s examines the darkest problems with human being in which which we can find a way to lie to ourselves to make ourselves think we are doing good, while we ultimately exploit other and hurt ourselves.
“Love is not enough”, because there isn’t such word in the Bible. Love is an English language word that’s umbrella for all sorts of concepts ranging from infatuation, to personal preference, to expressing care and concern, to empty platitude of politeness, to vacuous concept that’s synonymous with good and positive, etc, etc.
Love is not enough, precisely because we don’t agree as to what it may mean.
In the OT, love may be killing a father , or a brother of a woman in a battle, taking her home, shaving her head and making her as unattractive as possible, let her cry it out for a month, and then come back and decide if you still want to be her husband or not past the infatuation phase. And if you don’t, then you’d let her into the wild. Is it love? Certainly not by the modern markers of love. Is it a mere patch on the ugly reality of the OT setting? Maybe.
OT isn’t naive about thinking that “love” as generic ideal … will solve all of the human problems. It doesn’t provide that as a “one word” solution to “what do you do with women who are left after you fought and killed men”. Largely because it’s not the reality of human mind. Hence, we can’t resolve these issues with naive approach that offers “cure for all” in a single word.
Love is a principle. It’s not a solution. Solutions driven by moral principles … is what we need. As such these may not seem very nice or ideal at times. But it would be what we need.
Yes, that one was a piece of organic directorial genius in a way it fell together, and time it did, and the way lyrics just carry over to a different person and fill the song with a different meaning. Cash died of diabetes complications, so “needle tears a hole” in last stages of his deteriorating health would mean something different. And general idea of having a lobster and caviar feast one can’t enjoy, and looking back on life and one’s accomplishments through that lens as an “empire of dirt”… not even sure which version is more painful if you are willing to place yourself in a mindset of either.