Sunday, December 6, 2009

Car Sign Close to the Heart of God

Car signs come and go.

I've followed them for years down the freeways and byways-- slogans or pictures so political, athletic, off color, scenic or religious. There are the countless Fish symbols...

...and more recently the counter Darwin images eating the Fish...

Of course, there are signs extolling various candidates who quickly disillusion even their drivers who then can't get rid of the politicians or the stickers from their bumpers so they accelerate faster and faster hoping to leave "them" behind.

Fascinating, sometimes disgusting, the signs and decals stick to my mind, but the only ones that deeply trouble me are the "God bless US" ones. Yes, the "God, give to the U.S., because we are the greatest nation---us, us, us...

Not only is the sentiment arrogant and self-centered, but it fails to consider those who really need God's blessing--the lost, the hurting, the hungry, the destitute, and, yes, even the bad all the world round.

That's why when I first saw the bumper sticker which said "God Bless the Whole World: NO EXCEPTIONS"
I was truly thankful and rushed out to get myself a copy.

Imagine that, a sign which doesn't fixate on us and our own, doesn't exclude or denigrate, but instead gives to everyone else, which blesses all others, a sign which is an evangel to the world to all those who are so in need. Yes, a call for those of us who have plenty to focus on all of humankind and be generous, peaceful, and kind.

May we live that car sign out.

I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another; for love comes from God, and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God...because God is love.

In the Light of God,

Daniel Wilcox


Hystery said...

I too am discouraged by the lion's share of "religious" bumper stickers and the like. Near us there was a church that had a banner outside during a war, "Pray 'til we win!"

I wonder if people get confused by the term "Love" and mistake it for some sweet hallmark sentiment. There are all kinds of "love" and many of them are limited and limiting but Transcendent Love is a much deeper and wilder thing that creeps up on us and consumes us when we least expect it calling us not merely to easy tenderness toward those most like us but also to fierce devotion to those most unlike us...even to our enemies.

Daniel Wilcox said...

Hi Hystery,

Thanks for sharing.

Good point about the word "love." I've considered using some alternate word, since "love" in English has at least 20 different meanings, very few of them related to transcendence. I've considered using the term "compassion," but it is too limiting as I think compassion is only one aspect, an active one, of the much deeper and broader meaning of love.

When I read a biography about Paul Tillich, it mentioned that he considered the idea that we ought to call transcendent love, "c-love" to differentiate it from all the other "love" meanings.

But that seems awkward, sort of like the well-meaning people who choose to use the Greek word "agape."

Maybe, actually, "transcendent love" is the best of the terms:-)

Thanks for the suggestion.

In the Light,