Skip to main content

Love and Fear...

In morning prayer one day at college the following Australian poem was put into my hand to read:

There are only two feelings.
Love and fear.
There are only two languages.
Love and fear.
There are only two activities.
Love and fear.
There are only two motives, two frameworks, two results.
Love and fear.
Love and fear.


It sounds simplistic on some level. I'm sure many of us would want to dispute that our feeling of wanting to berate or defend our favourite author is about fear. We may doubt whether our anger at NHS treatment of the elderly is about love. We might question whether our constant keeping up with the news is about fear or love.. or both. We might want to make ourselves seem more complex but the simple reality is that most of what we do is motivated by love or by fear.

I feel like i live in a world where fear is in the ascendancy. Anxiety hovers over this community where 86% of people live on Government benefits. Tomorrow letters will start arriving telling people that their incapacity benefit could be withdrawn. And as they are handed vast forms, so fear chalks up a victory mark.

In the wider world I will sit in three meetings this week about funding. As charities scrabble for scraps in the myopic vision of a Big Society fear lurks at the door waiting to claim more adherents to its deathly grip. Its undertakers are sections of the media who profit and thrive in a culture of fear. Its all getting worse and here's how..

And then we turn to the Middle East: where fear seems justified on all counts. Where life and death turn on the quality of the herb feeding a frenzied and addled mind.

Fear: and those who trade in it, seem to be in the ascendancy.

And yet the God I follow is love. Not romantic hearts and flowers love that sits and dines at a fine linen clad table. Its love that sits with friends who are gripped with fear and owns that fear may temporarily win. Its love that knows that fear is beatable and as sweat mingled with blood won a victory that resonates through eternity.

It is love that will sit too with friends and fill out the benefit forms. It is love that will give itself and its resources away to see the rule of love come closer in our neighbourhoods. It is love that will pray and protest until fear is quelled across the world. It is love that will tell a different story, that even as things suffer there is a bigger story that rumbles on.

And it is love that wins.

There are only two things.
Love and fear.

May love win victories in our smallness that we may reflect love's victory in all its bigness.

Comments

liz h said…
I was reading something by Rowan Williams yesterday that was talking about our society having a crisis of trust, that people automatically assume that things are arranged to make life worse for them.

Seems to fit quite well with this.
Alana said…
So interesting to read your blog this morning. Last night I came home to a Twitter feed full of comment on John Piper's response to Rob Bell's promo video for his new book "Love Wins". It seemed to be the classic love/fear on the large stage.
Carla said…
very true!
yeti said…
i choose love

Popular posts from this blog

NO MORE MAGIC BULLET- or why I have stopped watching the West Wing

I love the West Wing. It still rates as one of the most well informed and influential series of the genre. Its speeches have been stolen by people who have osmosed its hope for a better way of doing politics. When we watch it today it holds a very particular kind of resonance because it demonstrates a civility that has been drowned in a sea of hate. It has positive images of a wrestled out faith, is rich with camaraderie and pith and is just good telly.
But its bad for me. 
It pains me to admit this, but the West Wing makes me think I can change the world in a way that is simply not helpful. 
It holds out the present hope that the world can turn on a single conversation. With the brave statement or right turn of phrase one might change the debate, and in turn might change the world entire. The moment in the Oval where they realise that if they take no credit they can save social security. The moment where Donna remembers to pay welfare payments. The realisation that all the NATO people a…

Falling out with Football

Some of my earliest memories are of Sunday mornings. There was one which seemed to involve being in a big hall colouring pictures, but I didn’t much like that, so the memories that have stuck are of sitting outside. Now, I love outside, it calms me, so pretty much any outdoor activity would have held some thrall for my turbulent child self. But the family Sunday activity was football.
When I was very small my Dad played. He was past his glory days by the time I can remember. The cartilage in his knees had run out before the rest of his body- and so much of my memory of him was as he “ran the line”.I’m pretty sure he sometimes did that in wellies, but its been a long time.
Sunday football was part of our life. We would go to the game and then mum would join us as we had drinks at the social club next door. It’s why I drank beer from the age of eight and could snaffle my way through about a thousand calories of crisps in a sitting.
And then we would go home, have a massive roast and w…

What's Next? 8 ways to move on..

It is still early, only twenty four hours since many of us woke up to find that what we had hoped did not happen. The referendum, for many is lost, and the reaction is fierce. What follows are a few ideas of how to navigate the next wee while.
Be Real If this hurts, hurt. If it make us feel scared, be scared. Anger and blame are great displacements- and they have their moment (which is still now, don’t just squash it) - but get as close to the real feelings as you can. And take that moment to acknowledge that for many of us part of the challenge is that we are not used to getting our own way.
Be Kind If you are reading this, the outcome is worse for many other people. They may have voted for it, but they will suffer. Be kind. And be kind to those who are very fearful. Being an EU worker at this moment must feel pretty grim. Be kind.
Switch Off How many of us have run our phone batteries dry in the last 24 hours? The urge to check social media and keep abreast of what s going on is…