Loving the World
"Don't you dare get on my lawn, kids."
That is what I mean by morbidness. And that is a gross misapplication of the Christian life: Where our Savior enters the world as light that expunges the darkness, and likewise calls us to go as and make disciples of all people; where the greatest command is to love God and the second greatest command is to love your neighbor as yourself. Thankfully on this trip I got to pinpoint this coldness within myself and take some medicine for my ills.
The medicine was G. K. Chesterton. In his book Orthodoxy the pre C. S. Lewis thinker addresses the problem I have with brilliance:
For our Titanic purposes of faith and revolution, what we need is not the cold acceptance of the world as a compromise, but some way in which we can heartily hate and heartily love it. We do not want joy and anger to neutralize each other and produce a surly contentment; we want a fiercer delight and a fiercer discontent. We have to feel the universe at once as an ogre's castle, to be stormed, and yet as our own cottage, to which we can return at evening.
Chesterton is quite the romantic. To him the world is not this temporary purgatory from where he is patiently awaiting the deliverance death will bring. Instead, Chesterton loves the world. He desperately loves it, and because he loves it so much, he desperately hates what is wrong with it. He hates the evil, the vileness, the corruption which brings men to death. But he doesn't let such strong opposing emotions counteract each other into this passive neutrality of escapism or pessimism as I described above. As he says at another point: "The point is not that this world is too sad to love or too glad not to love; the point is that when you do love a thing, its gladness is a reason for loving it, and its sadness a reason for loving it more." And when you love something, you cannot help but engage it:
"A man's friend likes him but leaves him as he is: his wife loves him and is always trying to turn him into somebody else."
We need to in a sense become like wives and mothers. If you have one (or are one; or both) you will know that they love us more than anyone else, will defend us before anyone else, will be offended when ill is spoken of us more than anybody else. And yet who are the ones who are constantly asking us to change and reform our ways? Moms and wives. That is what true love looks like. Not passive aggressive escapism. Not cold bitterness and locked doors. Not passive acquiescence through virtue signaling and affirmative Facebook likes. Obviously loving the world as it is at once an ogre's castle to be stormed and my own cottage is very hard work. Painful work, in fact. But that is the kind of love that Christ displayed when he came as light into the darkness. When he came as light into our darkness. It is that same kind of love which he calls us to display as well.
I will be working on it.
"For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16