Have you ever read something in the Course that you didn’t even consciously note as you read it, only to have it come back to mind later as something deeply meaningful?
That happened to me recently. I was reading in Chapter 22 in the Text. I wasn’t all that engaged and nothing particularly stood out to me. Later, however, this phrase floated back into my mind: “love all that He loves.” Suddenly, it captivated me. I thought it came from the section I had read earlier, but I wasn’t completely sure. I tried to pull the whole thing back into my mind and came up with: “You who are now His messenger must love all that He loves.”
I decided to make it my lesson for the day and began repeating it to myself. I finally went and looked it up and found that I had gotten one of the words wrong. It really read, “You who are now His means must love all that He loves.”
Isn’t it strange how this happens? Little do we know that, while we are reading and feeling like nothing is going on (or going in), the words before our eyes are being planted like seeds in our minds, seeds that can germinate hours later, days later, and maybe even years later.
Once this sentence did germinate, what really struck me about it was the inescapable logic of it. The Holy Spirit’s end is to save everyone. He wants to save us all because He loves us, each one of us, and He saves us by His love. His love is the motivation behind His efforts and the active ingredient in His efforts.
Now if we become the means He uses to reach His end, then we must share the love that is driving that end. Just as He loves everyone, so we must as well. We “must love all that He loves.”
I think we tend to take a compromise approach. One such compromise is “I who am now His means must do what He tells me to.” It is enough, we think, just to do the actions He guides us to do. Another is “I who am now His means must love those He sends to me.” This is certainly a start, but is it enough?
In both cases—“it is enough to do the right actions” and “it is enough to love the few He sends me”—we are a means that is out of accord with the end. We are an instrument that is at odds with the One using it.
If we are to really be His means, then we have to be at one with His motivation for employing us as means. And that motivation is love—love of everyone. It’s not enough to do the right things (though that is essential). It’s not enough to love the few sent to us (though that is essential, too). We who are now His means must love all that He loves.
We must genuinely love the stranger on the street. The politicians we despise. The people who believe the opposite of what we do. Our former friends. Our estranged family members. People who stole from us. People who broke our hearts. Back-stabbing colleagues. Annoying neighbors. Everyone.
If we don’t, and we profess to be His means, His instrument, then we are like a glove that is fighting the very hand that’s wearing it. Does that make any sense?