This I Believe

Alexander - Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Entered on November 11, 2007

There is something in the world that I want to call “loving-kindness”. It could be the most powerful force in the world. I believe anyone can use it for a better life. Plus, it always “works” and nothing can stop it. It works for the loving-kindness giver and for the loving-kindness receiver. It works for everyone. It even works for those not concerned or involved. But it mainly works for the person giving the loving-kindness. The more the need for loving-kindness, the more powerful it is.

The giver of loving-kindness always has something like power returned to them. I do not know what it is. In what form it comes back is usually not readily apparent and its effects may not be immediate. This “something” is difficult to describe, but it seems to me that it could best be described as a “joy” or “a peace which surpasses all understanding” or “the peace of God”. We should never consider any of our own acts of loving-kindness as “sacrifice” by or of ourselves. (“Sacrifice” here, is defined as the vulgar expression of giving-up something.) Loving-kindness is never a sacrifice because it always returns to us.

I can attest for it in my own life. To me, it seems easy to use and the return is palpable. My biggest obstacle in using it is maintaining awareness that it is available. Upon reflection, I can’t think of a time when it would not have been the most appropriate, effective and meaningful response. Why I do not use it more, or always, I do not know.

The life of Jesus attests to it. His submission to the cross, I believe, was an act of loving-kindness in that, if he had defended himself, his defense would have caused more violence, death and hatred. As it was, he showed us the power of loving-kindness. History practically proves that his loving-kindness was much more powerful, effective and meaningful than any significant, purposeful, bloody revolt which his defense would have caused.

You might say: That’s all well and good for us, the living, but the question is, was it good for Jesus (the human being)? because, let’s face it, his loving-kindness resulted in his own agonizingly painful and humiliating death. My answer may merely be a justification but I have taken it as a revelation. It is: The return power of loving-kindness cannot be stopped by anything, not even death. This is a power that passes through the barrier of death. Jesus knew that and tried to teach it to us.

As this idea (of a power that is not stopped by death) is revealed to me, it gives me a hope of something (I don’t know what) beyond the grave. A hope that I had been losing is now returning. I suppose that it could be summed-up in the statement, “If it was good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for me.”

Jesus’ loving-kindness can still affect me even though he is dead. My loving-kindness can still affect Adolf Hitler. When I am dead, I will still receive, and be able to give, loving-kindness.