Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Person-to-Person

Cleaning the house almost pushes me to socialism. Almost. I quickly revert to the safer, saner waters of capitalism. Neither, however, seem to be God’s solution.

It’s just, why does each house have the same stuff, which all must be bought, and then which all must be cleaned…over and over and over? Ten sets of pots are being washed up and down our street every day, not to mention ten floors vacuumed and ten bathrooms scrubbed and so forth…

Then sanity brings to mind a picture of what it would be like if there was only one set of pots, and one kitchen, for all the ten households-worth of people on said street. Awful. Multiply that by tens of thousands of awfulnesses and you get gray places like the former USSR, North Korea, etc.

But the reason socialism (the full expression of which is communism) is so wrong actually isn’t the poverty, corruption, and oppression it breeds. It’s the collectiveness of persons, a collectiveness which strips individuality and the human dignity of having been created in the image of God – created as, yes, a person. God, actually, is a far more individual God than most religious folks imagine. As my father began to say during my growing-up years, “Love is person-to-person.” He was referring to God, to God’s love for us, and therefore our love for each other. True love is not a blanket feeling for a large, faceless group. It is a specific feeling for a particular person or people.

A person-to-person relationship enjoys each individual as such – an individual. It expresses itself in appreciating, gaining from, and celebrating that individual’s facets … most of which are very different from the person next to them.

This is why we love each other dearly, but we live as neighbors and not collectives. It’s because God loves us person-to-person. He loves our tastes, which are vastly different from each other, especially when it comes to food and home d├ęcor. He loves our personalities – mine is quieter than my sisters’. He loves our shapes, our heights, the sounds of our laughs, the turning of our hearts. What moves me is slightly different than what moves you, and He loves those nuances. It’s not that He loves differences, as some mistakenly put it; it’s that He loves us each separately.

God, of course, is capable of this person-to-person love for each one in the universe. As a human, I am not. But I sure am able to recognize a good thing when I see it (or when it is directed at me). So when I step back from scrubbing the kitchen counter and take a moment to consider then reject a socialistic/communistic approach to living life, it brings a sudden joy to know that I am one of those who He loves and appreciates individually, and to whom He has therefore given the desire and ability to creatively express myself in such realms as home and family and career. Hooray for God! Hooray for love!

3 comments:

Masha said...

North Korea is kind of extreme; the Soviet Union wasn't like this even during the height of the Terror.

And families generally had their own dishes :)

Lizzie said...

oh if only I could get this deep when I am neck deep in housework!!! :):):)

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