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Love for three feet around

So, I said to my son: “It is crazy down here, Matt. There’s an electrical charge of anticipation, even desperation, in the air; it’s as if we should all watch where we’re going so we don’t make contact with any loud, loose, dangerous, live wires whipping around. Reality now equals divisiveness. I know I can’t heal the world, but surely I can say something helpful.”

And Matt said: “Tell them about love.”

So, here goes:

I believe that unconditional love, liberally felt and given, is what will save us.

I believe love fills our hearts to overflowing to remind us we are meant to serve and care for others.

I believe the presence of loving energy in my life, and in yours, and then in another, and on and on has the power to counteract the need for an AR-15, the desire for tall walls to keep out what we don’t yet understand, and the compulsion to eliminate another who, for whatever reason, makes us feel unsafe.

I believe that the opposite of love is neither hate nor apathy; it is fear.

I believe all our unforgiving, disrespectful, violent and despairing emotions and actions flow from the fear of losing a reality we have come to accept, believe in, and stake our livelihood on.

I believe nothing lasts forever – even fear.

I believe what generations of poets, songwriters, philosophers and theologians have declared as true is, indeed, true: Love is the way . . . to counter the fear within us. Fear is our prison; Love of ourselves and others is the key to unlock its door.

I believe the unconditional love that will free us comes with the divine spark inside each of us, from the generosity, forgiveness and mercy of others, and from an ever-present grace waiting in our souls to warm us.

A few days ago I was blessed to be at a concert to hear Carrie Newcomer, a talented and inspired folk singer, songwriter and poet. Her beautifully delivered lyrics about the complexities of a fear-filled world longing for hope resonated deeply and profoundly.

She sang:

“I can't change the whole world.

But I can change the world I know.

What's within three feet or so.

We are body, skin and bones.

We're all the love we've ever known.

When I don’t know what is right, I hold it up into the Light.”

I took my hands off the keyboard and sat back, holding my thoughts up to the Light.

All was quiet and then I sensed my son whisper: “Just three feet around you, Mom – practice kindness . . . and forgiveness . . . and be generous. . . and then try another 3 feet.”

I told him I would do that.

I think he’d like it if you would do it too.


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