On Saturday, The Pink Flamingo featured Henry Drummond’s classic The Greatest Thing in the World. I trust you read it and was as moved as was I.
“…Because He first loved us,” the effect follows that we love, we love Him, we love all men. We cannot help it. Because He loved us, we love, we love everybody. Our heart is slowly changed. Contemplate the love of Christ, and you will love. …”
He also wrote:
“…There is no time to do more than make a passing note upon each of these ingredients. Love is Patience. This is the normal attitude of Love; Love passive, Love waiting to begin; not in a hurry; calm; ready to do its work when the summons comes, but meantime wearing the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. Love suffers long; beareth all things; believeth all things; hopeth all things. For Love understands, and therefore waits.
Kindness. Love active. Have you ever noticed how much of Christ’s life was spent in doing kind things–in merely doing kind things? Run over it with that in view and you will find that He spent a great proportion of His time simply in making people happy, in doing good turns to people. There is only one thing greater than happiness in the world, and that is holiness; and it is not in our keeping; but what God has put in our power is the happiness of those about us, and that is largely to be secured by our being kind to them….”
The Pink Flamingo has a very real problem with the Tea Party “Patriots”, Libertarians, and Beck’s Mindless Minions. I have had a difficult time putting to words what I have felt about them, but some of the things that have been done, some of the things said make me cringe. Now I know why.
“…The fifth ingredient is a somewhat strange one to find in this summum bonum: Courtesy. This is Love in society, Love in relation to etiquette. “Love doth not behave itself unseemly.” Politeness has been defined as love in trifles. Courtesy is said to be love in little things. And the one secret of politeness is to love. Love cannot behave itself unseemly. You can put the most untutored person into the highest society, and if they have a reservoir of love in their heart, they will not behave themselves unseemly. They simply cannot do it. Carlyle said of Robert Burns that there was no truer gentleman in Europe than the ploughman-poet. It was because he loved everything–the mouse, and the daisy, and all the things, great and small, that God had made. So with this simple passport he could mingle with any society, and enter courts and palaces from his little cottage on the banks of the Ayr. You know the meaning of the word “gentleman.” It means a gentle man–a man who does things gently, with love. And that is the whole art and mystery of it. The gentleman cannot in the nature of things do an ungentle, an ungentlemanly thing. The un-gentle soul, the inconsiderate, unsympathetic nature cannot do anything else. “Love doth not behave itself unseemly.”…”
It has been my experience, watching Tea Party types shout down elected officials, treating them rudely (even when they deserve to be treated rudely), and then outright lying about others, is sorely lacking in common courtesy.
They are rude.
They are selfish.
They want things done their way.
They are unwilling to behave with common courtesy.
They are in it for themselves.
They treat those who dare contradict them terribly rudely.
They have absolutely no respect for anyone who disagrees with them.
They have no love.
Antonyms of the word “charity”
“…In the Book of Matthew, where the Judgment Day is depicted for us in the imagery of One seated upon a throne and dividing the sheep from the goats, the test of a man then is not, “How have I believed?” but “How have I loved?” The test of religion, the final test of religion, is not religiousness, but Love. I say the final test of religion at that great Day is not religiousness, but Love; not what I have done, not what I have believed, not what I have achieved, but how I have discharged the common charities of life. Sins of commission in that awful indictment are not even referred to. By what we have not done, by sins of omission, we are judged. It could not be otherwise. For the withholding of love is the negation of the spirit of Christ, the proof that we never knew Him, that for us He lived in vain. It means that He suggested nothing in all our thoughts, that He inspired nothing in all our lives, that we were not once near enough to Him to be seized with the spell of His compassion for the world…
It is the Son of Man before whom the nations of the world shall be gathered. It is in the presence of Humanity that we shall be charged. And the spectacle itself, the mere sight of it, will silently judge each one. Those will be there whom we have met and helped: or there, the unpitied multitude whom we neglected or despised. No other Witness need be summoned. No other charge than lovelessness shall be preferred. Be not deceived. The words which all of us shall one Day hear, sound not of theology but of life, not of churches and saints but of the hungry and the poor, not of creeds and doctrines but of shelter and clothing, not of Bibles and prayer-books but of cups of cold water in the name of Christ. Thank God the Christianity of to-day is coming nearer the world’s need. Live to help that on. Thank God men know better, by a hairsbreadth, what religion is, what God is, who Christ is, where Christ is. Who is Christ? He who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick. And where is Christ? Where?–whoso shall receive a little child in My name receiveth Me. And who are Christ’s? Every one that loveth is born of God…”
This is very damning. In other words – you know the least of those – that little illegal immigrant child? If we do not treat that child kindly and decently, if we cannot be kind and decent to the very least, how we can expect Christ to treat us decently?
Faith, Hope & Charity is NOT about the Founding Fathers or the making of America. It is about loving one’s enemies. It is about loving Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid. It is about The Pink Flamingo loving Glenn Beck (damn it!) and praying for his soul.
Sometimes being a Christian is really annoying.
This is one of those times.
But, because I began correcting Beck and his Mindless Minions, I feel I am a better person. I feel my theory that we should not demonize those with whom we disagree is correct. It does no good and only hurts the person doing the demonizing.
Care for a bit of tea anyone?