Who's Love is the Life Force of the Universe
WHAT WE NEED
I sometimes wish I had become a scientist. I have always been fascinated with the complexity of human biology, though I didn’t do well in my Biology 101 class at Carthage College. Probably because it was an Eight O'clock class in my freshman year. I read the other day that our bodies have around 37.2 trillion cells. I think that must be an estimate because I am not sure anyone could count them all before some new ones were born and some died. We have some cells that last only a few days and others, called stem cells that can last our entire lives. What amazes me most is how the cells know what their particular job is. A close second is how they work together without seeming to communicate with each other. Somehow cells are produced and depending on the type of solution they are bathed they figure out what part of the body they become. Scientist can take stem cells and bathe them in one solution and they become skin and another solution and they become muscle. Scientists really don’t know much about how they know the difference. The individual cells seem to just know what our body needs and become it.
In my experience it is hard enough getting 15 teenagers, who all have brains, to work together to create the ultimate homecoming float. I can’t imagine the complexity it takes to make trillions of cells to move together to execute a two proper two handed backhand. How do such simple cells know how to move and work together. There must be some unseen force that holds it all together. And then, if the animating force leaves the body they all begin to die. Sometimes cells decide not to follow the pattern of being created, doing their thing and then dying in their natural cycle. Doctors call this cancer. The natural way of things is that they are born, they live, they die and are recycled into more life. Kind of sounds like resurrection.
DYING AND RISING
We are more than a collection of cells. We not only have a physical presence we have a social, emotional and spiritual presence as well. These are much less scientific and often way less predictable, but no less real. They are not confined by time and space and yet really are what make us human. My purely unscientific belief is that the animating force behind all living things is God’s love. What else could be so amazing and complex. Not only do trillions of cells follow the plan of dying and rising to create new life but all life does this. You could call this God’s Holy Spirit that moves in us and through us to create life. On a much larger scale the Church functions like this when it is animated by God’s spirit. The spirit keeps calling and animating people all over the globe to connect, work together and to create new life.
DRIVEN BY LOVE
Jesus spent a good part of his ministry bring new life to places and people. Throughout the Gospels we read of how he touched lepers, healed those with blindness, (both physically and spiritually) and cast out demons, all driven by his love for people. Jesus’ love touched those who were disconnected from community, from wholeness, and from themselves and reconnected them. This connecting, animating force is Love.
HANDFULS OF DISCIPLES
As I watched coverage of yet another school shooting my heart went out to all those affected by this tragedy. I wished I could somehow comfort the families and friends who lost loved ones. It makes me sad. I also wished that someone could have connected with the shooter who was living a life of isolation to intervene. I can’t imaging how lonely and hurt one must become to engage in such extreme behavior. Now, we are having a debate on how more guns or less guns are the answer. While I am fully supportive of nonviolence and better gun control, I believe another part of the problem is spiritual. I know that blaming is our first response and in some ways it is our mechanism to release pain. I hope our second response is to look at the ways we can bring love into the lives of those who are hurting. I know the problems seems overwhelming and bigger than any of us can resolve on our own. I am sure Jesus felt the same given a few handfuls of disciples who often didn’t seem to get it. Ultimately the changed the world. Together, we can align ourselves with Jesus and become conduits for God’s love in the places where we live, work and create community.