Love one another. Jesus said so….

As I sit and listen and hear and watch and see the turmoil going on in our world today, I’m reminded of a song they used to sing when I was a little girl in a tiny little Church of Christ situated in what I can only call God’s country in Pikeville, AL. I would sit proudly beside my aunt Ruby with my hymn book opened to the number they had called out, amazed at how she sang in a different key than the song really was sung. Learning about harmony in that little brick buildings is one of the highlights of my childhood. This isn’t a popular song, then or now, but it is ingrained in my memory, and rightly so considering the state of affairs we are in. It speaks to my heart:

“Love one another,” thus saith the Saviour;
Let us obey the Father’s blest command;
“Love one another,” thus saith the Saviour;
Let us obey His blest command.

He didn’t request it of us. He didn’t suggest it. He didn’t say if you feel like it. He told us to. In the bible, the word “saith” means to utter or pronounce. Not sure about y’all, but Jesus pronouncing something is a pretty strong argument that I need to stop, collaborate and listen. If I could listen to Vanilla Ice (who was a fraud, BTW), I surely can listen to Jesus. Jesus. Who sat with sinners. Loved the unlovable. Commanded us to go out into this horrible, downtrodden, divided world and TELL folks about his goodness. Where have we gone wrong??

If you don’t know this song, the title of it is “Angry Words, O let them Never”…… that again. NEVER. Not when you and your friend or coworker or neighbor disagree. Not when you hear so and so said that you were wrong for saying this, or that ole gal you know voted a different way than you did. Not when social media or the news is building an unconquerable wall between folks every second of the day. Not even when everyone in your little hometown are at odds over a decision the school board made. And especially not when folks are sick. And dying.

And while yes, we all can make decisions about our own health (hopefully with the advice and counsel from a trusted medical professional), there comes a point that we need to look in the mirror and recognize how our actions, words and lack of are affecting others around us. The elderly and immunocompromised. And now children. It’s scary times for sure. But it’s not about politics. Or censorship. Or disagreeing. It’s about loving one another. Doing all we can for one another during what many of us can say are the oddest, hardest times we have ever lived thru. UNKNOWN times. We all wanna know how we are going to be affected, and some folks think they have all the answers. They shout it from the rooftops and post it on social media and argue amongst themselves. I’m guilty myself.

So, today when the words of that song popped into my mind, I sat down for a little self reflection. And blogging. And feelings of being proud of myself and ashamed of myself all at the same time. But in the end knowing that I am doing my level best to do what Jesus commands of me. Of all of us. LOVE one another.

“Angry words! oh, let them never
From the tongue unbridled slip:
May the heart’s best impulse ever
Check them ere they soil the lip.

“Love one another,” thus saith the Saviour;
Let us obey the Father’s blest command;
“Love one another,” thus saith the Saviour;
Let us obey His blest command.

Love is much too pure and holy,
Friendship is too sacred far,
For a moment’s reckless folly
Thus to desolate and mar.

Angry words are lightly spoken,
Bitt’rest tho’ts are rashly stirred,
Brightest links of life are broken,
By a single angry word.”

Out of many uncertain things, one thing I am sure of. Should my precious Aunt Ruby be here today, she would be loving others. Not stirring up strife or discontent. She didn’t have it in her. With a ride to school, and a bowl of popcorn to watch Hee Haw with, and a breakfast of the best biscuits, taught me about compassion and loving others. And last but not least, with a song. Showed me the way, even though I’ve forgotten many times over.

Note to self:

Keep the course. Stay humble. Be kind. Show compassion. Love one another.

Later, y’all.