A Song in 1980 Used the Phrase Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places. One of Those Wrong

A Song in 1980 Used the Phrase Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places. One of Those Wrong

A song in 1980 used the phrase "looking for love in all the wrong places." One of those wrong places may be Google. A quick search of the word "love" has nearly 9 billion references (in .20 seconds, I might add).

What are we looking for? Love makes the world go around. Love is something if you give it away. Love is, at best, giving what you need to get. Lucky in love. I love my wife. I love this dinner. I love my bike. Next week's Valentine's Day isn't that helpful either. It presents an odd cultural mix of the remembrance of St. Valentine, a martyr perhaps in ancient Rome; Cupid, the Roman god of desire; candy, red, hearts, flowers and greeting cards. Gifts for the beloved are expected.

We humans struggle with the idea of love as well as with the fact of love. The best we do as people is to describe the feeling we have for the other. The description is usually in picture, metaphor or story. The absolute best we do as people is to show love in what we do with and for each other.

The dictionary defines love first as "a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties." Sometimes love is an act of will more than an act of emotion - ask a parent, or someone dealing with the serious illness of the beloved. Abstractly a definition of love is wanting the best for the other

In the Christian church we say "God loves you." We say it so often that it can lose its meaning. Perhaps what the church is saying is that "you belong." No apology needed. No particular belief expected. You are part of the family of humanity. Period.

Now what? Humans are social beings, so much so that some have said that Love exists as emotion and attraction to perpetuate the species. Just as romantic love is an offer that needs to be accepted, so is the truth of belonging to each other. Living in this love/belonging is admitting that, like it or not, we are bound together with each other, with all of life, and with this planet. We can, of course, pretend that we are each on our own and independent. But the reality is that we are connected. No one of us alone builds a hospital, educates the next generation, provides all our food or clothing. Love and belonging by definition are two-way. We are in this together. We love and are loved. We care and are cared for. It is how we are designed. It is how the love of song, poetry and faith become real. The solitary Christian, like the solitary human, is a myth - or at least a contradiction of terms.