As Cole Porter wrote and Ella Fitzgerald sang:
“What is this thing called Love? Just who can solve this mystery?
Why should it make a fool of me?
I saw you there one wonderful day
You took my heart and threw it away.
That’s why I ask the Lord in heaven above,
What is this thing called Love?”
What is this thing called Love?
We know that love is something emotional. In fact, science has shown when we identify a love experience, there are neuro-mechanical movements in our brains. Coincidentally, these same neurological movements occur in moments we identify as “faith.”
Is this coincidence truly coincidental?
In the Gospel of Matthew, “Jesus replied, You must love the Lord God with all of your heart, all of your soul and all of your mind.”
This faith command issues impetus to an understanding that love is an emotional state.
Love is our whole selves
However, if we stay in this state of emotional hubris, one may miss the reason for involving all of ourselves, including the emotional part.
Love cannot be selfishly reserved for a particular person or group.
Love cannot be focused only on an unseen God.
Love isn’t love until one moves away from familiarity and willingly offers all of oneself to the stranger, the Other.
Yes, love is too large of a subject to pin it down to what we already know.
Love invites us to enter into the unknown. The unknown is not disconnected from who and what we know of ourselves. I believe the interconnected interdependence of life is like the track we run on. We discover how much we are connected when we love.
Love is present when we are advocating for one another.
The public philosopher, Cornel West, often notes that justice is just love in public. I remember a moment of intersectionality that resulted in a shared moment of love. At a march and rally for immigrant justice, a Native American spoke on his recent sojourn at Standing Rock where allies stood with the indigenous in protest of a pipeline construction that would endanger a water source in North Dakota. When he finished, I called out the rallying cry heard often at Standing Rock: “Mni Wiconi” which means Water is Life. Suddenly, Mni Wiconi was heard throughout the crowd.
Here were Latinex, and their allies, all joining in each other’s struggle.
Why? Because love knows no boundaries in its reach to connect all of us.
Be well and keep the faith!
Join us at All Souls on every Sunday in January to explore the theme of LOVE.
We’d love to have you with us in-person or online, together in community and covenant.
Live stream services are at 10:00 a.m. CST for our Traditional service or the 11:30 a.m. CST Contemporary service.
Listen to all our services, including the Humanist Hour (Sundays at 11:30 a.m.) on our weekly podcast, too.
Rev. Gerald Davis serves as the minister of Church of the Restoration Unitarian Universalist and as an Affiliate Minister at All Souls Unitarian Church, both in Tulsa,Oklahoma.