It was a delight to view the royal wedding—the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. I couldn’t help but think of Princess Diana, Harry’s mother. She was the beginning of a loveliness that appeared in the wedding ceremony. I think of the English as very cultured, disciplined, and with a stiff upper lip. Into that culture and into the royal family came this loveliest of women thirty-seven years ago.
She was out of the mold. Something cracked open so that love could be in the English culture in a different way through her. Diana embodied a softness and a care, a lack of pretentiousness, and a genuine love for her people. She elicited a response from people in England and from people around the world who said, Yes, I want her as my princess; I want her as my queen. And sadly, that couldn’t be so; and sadly, she lost her life far too early. And yet her spirit lives on, and showed itself through Harry and Meghan and through the opening crack in the culture of the royals.
It is significant to me that there were 1.9 billion people from around the world watching this event. The service, itself, was a departure from any that came before it. It was multi-racial, interfaith, with a gospel choir singing a popular song. There was also a cracking of culture in that Harry married a mixed-race divorcee from America. And then Harry and Meghan themselves opened their hearts in a way that is rare in the middle of royal pomp and circumstance.
The world was a witness to that opening. And when you see something that has been so rigid open up, you feel love rushing in and it is inspiring. It sets an example for people around the world. I think there are many people who hope that something about what makes England English never goes away—all the revered history and the sense of nobility. And yet to see love coming in and changing hearts and minds in the middle of that venerable culture… It is so inspiring and opens up possibility for anybody.
The Most Rev. Michael Curry, the first African American to preside over the Episcopal Church, gave the sermon at the wedding on “the redemptive power of love.” He said this:
There’s power in love. There’s power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live.… But love is not only about a young couple. The power of love is demonstrated by the fact that we’re all here. Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up. It’s not just for and about a young couple whom we rejoice with. It’s more than that….
Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in human history: a movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world and a movement mandating people to live and love.
And in so doing, to change not only their lives but the very life of the world itself! I’m talking about the power, real power, power to change the world.
His words made me think of the opening lines from some of the most ancient writing in literature, the story of Creation in Genesis. It speaks of Universal Love as the Spirit of God.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Very significantly for Planet Earth, the power of Creation comes from the sun. And yet that power of Creation is within the atom, within the cell, within all living things, and within all people, certainly. That power of love is within us and it moves on the face of our waters. We are, ourselves, up to 60 percent water, so it is physically true. But the spirit of God—the power of Universal Love—also moves on the waters of the human heart. It moves and stirs our heart in such beautiful ways.
These epic words follow:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Love moves on the face of the waters of the heart and there is illumination. We begin to see the world in a different way. We begin to see the pattern of Creation unfolding all around us. We see it unfolding in people and unfolding in ourselves.
We have the light to see when love moves. That happened in the wedding yesterday. The world looked different. It was a rare, sunny, spring day; the flowers were out; it was the loveliness of spring in England. But there was another kind of delight that was present—the world looked different. And in the middle of all the terror of the world in which we live, there is that loveliness that is present, and the unfolding of Creation all around. We have to have light to see it.
How is that light generated? It is generated by the power of love that moves in the heart. And yet the light is important. We don’t want to be loving in dark ways. We want to be loving in illuminated ways. And when the highest love touches the heart, there is illumination.
I was thinking about how we step forth and enter our world. We can lead with strength, and certainly we need strength to be in the world as it is and to create. But sometimes when we lead with strength we lead with some kind of domination, and things can become confrontational when we lead with strength. We can lead with love, and certainly love needs to be in the picture. Love is a connecting power. It is combustible fuel. And if love is not present in the world, it becomes impossible. But I have been pondering the virtue of leading with light. When we are leading with light, we are seeing the very source code of Creation all around. We see the DNA of Creation, the inherent pattern of a human being, and the pattern of emerging culture.
Love is a power. If we are trying to simply power our world, but without the intelligence of seeing the pattern of Creation, we can be working very hard and generating a lot of heat from the fire of love but not actually creating. So we need the generation of light and we need to lead with light—with the intelligence that can see the unfolding pattern of Creation, that can facilitate its unfoldment, that can let it come together.
Light in the atmosphere we share with others creates a space in which we can see. We can see each other. That light creates a sacred space filled with light and filled with love. In that space, I recognize you. I see you for who you are, and I can be seen. Are you willing to be seen and to see?
I have been thinking about this year at Sunrise Ranch, where I live. There is so much happening, and so much potential. It is a big year. Certainly we need the power of love to see us through this year. But we also need light—we need intelligence and wisdom. Because all that power working in ways that are not according to the source code of Creation creates a grinding of wheels of Creation, and a grinding of how we are together. Because no matter how much we love, if there is no light we are not seeing how we fit together, or how we might work together. No matter how well-intentioned we are, it does not go well if we can’t see. We need some light here. We need some wisdom and intelligence.
The penalties for ignorance are high. Think of all the passion and all the love that flows through the religious zealots of the world. I don’t doubt their love and I don’t doubt their passion. I doubt their wisdom. I doubt their intelligence when it comes to seeing the pattern of Creation within all people. When “my way” becomes “the way,” then the power of love becomes a force of destruction. Love is an amazing power. Let it bring light.
Singer-songwriter Don Eaton wrote these lyrics for his song “Hope of Humanity”:
I see so many people lost in despair.
They have no hope, and they can’t find their way.
But I still believe that there’s a fire in some hearts,
And that a few courageous souls will dare to say:
I am the hope of humanity.
I am a bringer of the Light.
My love will help to heal the world’s insanity.
I am a candle in the night.
The teacher Jesus said, Ye are the light of the world. And because you are the light of the world, you are the hope of the world. He also said something about love and something about truth, and how love and truth together bring life, the experience of vitality and regeneration. He said it in a way that has been grossly misunderstood. I am the way, the truth, and the life. The way is love; truth is the light, the pattern of Creation; love and light together bring life.
Christians have understood Jesus’ words on the basis of human hierarchy, with exclusivity granted to those special ones who lead. As if Jesus was claiming exclusive rights to be the way, the truth and the life. As if he was saying, “It’s my way. I have exclusive rights to the way.” Can we imagine this teacher of love saying that? “I am the way—you’re not the way. I am the only way. I am the truth—you don’t have the truth. Nobody else has the truth. I am the truth. I am the life—you’re not the life. I am the life.” Is that the character of this remarkable man?
I am the way. I am the hope of the world. You are the hope of the world. You are the way. We are the way. You are the truth. I am the truth. We are the truth. You are the life. I am the life. We are the life.
Pronouns are a funny thing. You can hear someone make a declaration that is an affirmation of their own Being: I am the way. It can be a creative response to say, “Yes, you are the way.” But another creative response is to say, I am the way.
It is hard to say that without humility. The lyrics of Don’s song say this:
Now some may call it arrogance or say it’s vanity
To think we’re part of what dreams may come true.
And yet to truly accept that I am the way humbles one’s heart. To really accept that I am the light evokes humility—unless you are a truly ignorant person.
Let us lead with the light in all the areas in which we function, from the most practical to the most spiritual, from the lowest to the highest. Truth matters. The natural design of how we are constellated has a truth to it. That matters. How things work matters. In every area of creative endeavor, from music to architecture to agriculture to art, how things fit together, how they work, and how they unfold in the creative process has a natural order to it. And we are part of that natural order, meant to be stewards of it for ourselves, for other people, and for the world around us.
I appreciate it if a person is well-intentioned, but we need more than the good intentions of love. We need the light of love, the accuracy of how we are made, the naturalness of how we fit into the circle of life, and the naturalness of our role as human beings, seeing that circle of life all around as stewards of its unfoldment. How we have broken that sacred calling to be stewards of the cycle of life! And yet today there is something different happening in the body of humankind. We are cracking open and letting love in, and there is a light that is shining where we are seeing something different and moving into something different. We are desiring something different.
It is so good to be doing this together with others, respecting the fact that we each have our light to bring, and that when we bring it, Creation is facilitated, and the power of love moves creatively and brings regeneration into the world. Our communion generates light. The very source code of Creation begins to be seen among us. And we are finding that we each have our own unique part to play in bringing that source code into the world. The DNA of a new culture, the DNA of a new mind, and a new heart for humanity is revealed.
The highest love—the power of Creation—moves upon the waters of the heart. And there is light.