Nowhere in the lyric of Imagine, did Lennon say “Imagine there’s no God”. He was just encouraging us to imagine a world without all of the divisions and labels, and to be able to live as one. I guess that’s what turns us to a higher power, and left to our own devices we will build walls instead of bridges.
What’s in a label? I think there is much more than we think, as we sling those terms around. Simply because beneath the labels are people. Other humans living out their own human dramas amidst births and deaths; smiles and heartaches; alcoholics and Godaholics !
We all feel pretty justified in the labels we wear. And there’s a ton of them isn’t there? Christian, White Collar, Liberal and bleeding heart liberal. Democrat, Tea Party, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Free Will Baptist. Anglicans, Cultists and Republicans. We divide and divide and divide till we are just plum wore out. I get being with people that feel and think like you do, but I know I have learned much more from my friends that think differently than I do. They stretch my mind and shed a light I had not seen, or perhaps didn’t want to see.
I have friends deeply embedded in conservative thinking, both politically as well as spiritually. Some people would slam the door on them, but in the end they really want the same things as any other group of people. Peace. They just want peace and a safe world for their children to grow up in. “How do we get there?”. That has always been the dividing line. When we see the line being drawn, we break out our bag of rocks and start lobbing them into their camps, with pieces of paper attached calling them every name to be thought of. Wow, no wonder societal progress moves slow.
Blacks vs Whites, rich vs poor, Native Americans vs Europeans. Mini Van drivers vs sports car drivers. Rock stars vs Country stars….God vs Godless…Heaven vs Hell….
But among the clutter and confusion of life, I really find that when you get someone alone and quiet, where ideas can be shared, not forced, then we see just how close we really are. The color fades, Denominations embrace, and political lines in the dirt get kicked into oblivion by someones shoe. When we look into another’s eyes, that is when the rhetoric begins to fall apart and you get to the root of a feeling, not just the reinforcement of the CNN or FOX news sound bites.
Frustration is everywhere, patience is the thinnest line we’ve ever seen, and we are desperately trying to find solid ground. A type of ground where we can rest and put up our swords.Where we can let go of the labels, the divisions, for deep in our hearts we know they aren’t right.
Where we can see the simple truth, that we are all in this together, and you ain’t taking none of your stuff with you when you go. We will arrive in the presence of the Maker just as we are. People. human beings, nothing more, nothing less. Loved equally.
Tell me where you are at with all of this. Especially those that might disagree. There are gonna be those out there that are comfortable with labels and division, and only hang out with folks that reinforce what they think. It’s ok, I want this to be an open forum for us all.