THIS I BELIEVE
I believe Love in its highest form is God. I believe Love is worthy of worship only when it acts in a manner that serves all of creation. Abstract feelings and emotions, like empathy and compassion, left unanswered will not relieve hunger or pain. Only when Love acts is God made manifest. I believe every Loving action by anyone, anywhere, any time—past, present or future—is evidence that God exists. I have not always understood God in this way.
At age five after a painful fall, I asked my mother why God let people get hurt. I still ask the same question. I was blessed with parents who loved me, but they were not churchgoing people. I do not remember seeing a Bible in our home or hearing any prayers until after I began attending a nearby Baptist church on my own at the age of seven.
This was my introduction to Christianity. I was an eager student, but as time passed I found I had more questions and fewer satisfactory answers. I began to question the concept of an omnipotent and loving anthropomorphic God who must be both loved and feared. I could not understand why He would allow the widespread suffering I had seen during the Great Depression and later by the horrors of World War II.
At age sixteen I decided to broaden my search for answers. I began an in depth study of the Bible, eventually including a study of Judaism and ancient history, followed by a history of the Christian Church. Over time I sought to learn from people of many different persuasions including non-Christians. In the process I gained a great respect for the beliefs of others and a greatly enhanced sense of the sacred. Ultimately I became and remain a Christian agnostic, no longer orthodox but still of the Christian persuasion.
I now believe in a Religion of Love that transcends (but does not exclude) all creeds, doctrines, rituals and traditions. To the extent that any religion results in Love that surpasses selfish motives, it manifests God in its highest form.
Recently, while discussing with a friend my understanding of Love as God, he asked me how I could worship such an abstraction. Pointing to a painting on his wall depicting a windblown landscape, I asked him how he knew that there was wind. Knowing he was a firm believer in science, I pointed out that scientists could not draw a picture of gravity or of subatomic quarks but they knew they existed because they could see their effects. Just like the wind, like gravity, and like subatomic quarks, Love can be detected only because what it does can be observed.
In my golden years I have found a God I can worship with all my heart. Just as light replaces darkness, where Love reigns all things ugly are made beautiful. Love is a God worthy of worship. This I believe.
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