A Meditation

I visited a greenhouse to walk among the flowers.  Upon entering, I paused to breathe in the thick fragrance and to admire the complex tapestry of so many flowers gathered in one place.  Observing the variety of details that distinguished each bloom, I marveled at the intricate designs, combinations of colors, and delicate construction of each blossom.  Soaked in the sights and scents of the greenhouse, I rejoiced to behold such beauty and gave thanks to God for so much rich and lovely variation.
Gazing at the flowers, I began to contemplate love, thinking about how every love, like every flower, becomes its own unique and splendid bloom.  I saw that, as the world was filled with flowers, so the world was filled with loves and that each love, like each flower, was a manifestation of the source of all flowers and all loves.  Viewed all together the flowers revealed a breathtaking vision of the wonderful multiplicity of love.
And then, as if in response to my meditation, I heard a chorus of voices insisting that God blessed only one kind of love, the love of one man and one woman, as if God blessed only one kind of flower.  The voices claimed that the Bible stated clearly God’s intention concerning all human relationships.  To these voices, I answered:
The Bible says nothing clearly.  Holy Scripture is an enormous collection of complex writings that does not offer a concise, coherent, uniform definition about anything.  Instead of one thing, the Bible says many things about all kinds of things.  To glean meanings and guidance from the Bible, we must wrestle with it and wrestle with it well because the outcome of our wrestling matters.  When we prevail, blessings abound.  When we fail, sufferings ensue.  Let us then proceed with utmost care when we dare to speak about love, for what matters more than love?
Love is the more excellent way.  Love is faithful, honest, patient, kind, peaceful, good, and gentle.  Love is not envious, boastful, selfish, arrogant, violent, or rude.  Proceeding with mutuality and consent, love does not insist on its own way.  Love is neither irritable nor resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love does not see as the world sees.  Regarding neither appearance nor stature, love looks on the heart, and on finding its beloved, love is made complete.
Flowers flourishing in a greenhouse teach us that oneness is different from sameness.  Although flowers may be one, as they are flowers, flowers are not the same, as every flower is unique.  So it is with love.  Love is one, but every bloom of love is special.  If then you have found your beloved, examine your love.  Is your love virtuous, healthy, life-giving, a blessing?  If so, it is true and holy.  Go then, love and love boldly.  Love your beloved, love those who bless and those who curse you, for by loving thus you shower the world with flowers.


Copyright © 2017 by The Rev. Russell Bohner, TSSF