Can anybody find me somebody to love?
Since these are unusual days, I thought I would do something unusual.
To be sure, I never thought I would be using lyrics from the rock group Queen as the jumping off point for a devotional. But here it is: a lyric from Somebody to Love.
That lyric might just be the corrective we need to hear today. If you have been listening to any of the coronavirus coverage, reading stories, or corresponding with friends, you're probably aware that there aren't many people these days looking for somebody to love.
Instead, most of us are looking for somebody . . . to blame!
And the list of people who can be blamed is long and varied. The usual suspects include China, the CDC, the President, the governors, businesses and corporations, pharmaceutical companies, the cruise ship industry, Amazon, people who insisted on traveling during Spring Break, greedy employees, churches that refused to stop meeting, and plenty of individual people who failed to follow the social distancing guidelines. In the past few days, I've read the predictable accusations that place blame for what is happening on particular groups of people. These accusations suggest that God is fed up with us, and that this virus is his way of expressing his anger.
All these theories and suggestions share one thing in common: they all are looking for someone to blame. Even during this terrible time, it seems that we are pretty sure that we will feel better . . . if we can only figure out who is responsible for what is happening.
(Now -- and please hear this well: it is both appropriate and necessary to assign blame. There have been some egregious mistakes and errors that have contributed to the tragedies that are now unfolding. We haven't always been told the truth, and misstatements and dishonesty are always costly. So holding groups and individuals accountable is essential. And I am quite sure that history will be quite able to bring the necessary accountability to this devastating season at the appropriate time.)
At the same time, however, we would probably be well served holding off on that task today. Today, we would be wise to -- well, as Queen made it clear, we would be wise to . . . find somebody to love.
There is so much good that we can do. Right now. Today. There are so many needs. There are so many broken people. There are so many lonely people. There are so many vulnerable people. There are so many people . . . desperate for love. And, sure, given the rules of social distancing, we will need to be creative and clever in sharing love. But as creative and clever as we are -- we can figure that out.
Not to be overly simplistic, but every minute I spend blaming, accusing, judging, and griping is one less minute I have to love, care, pray, encourage, and help.
In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul told us to think about and to dwell on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
And, of course, we see a lot today that is not true, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Fair enough.
But if we look hard and if we pay attention, we will discover plenty of reason for celebration and gratitude -- and plenty of opportunities for ministry. If we open our eyes, we will see things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
Perhaps never in history have followers of Jesus had a better opportunity to love.
So let's look around . . . and let's find somebody to love.