If the world was my wife, she would have left me…!
If the world was my wife I would look after her much better than I do….
If the world was my wife she would be the victim of domestic violence and in urgent need of a refuge from a brutal husband.
If the world was my wife I would be the repenting husband asking forgiveness time and time again, but old habits die hard and life would soon be back to its brutal normal.
This is all hypothetical, of course, but if the world was my wife she would have left me a long time ago and I would be regretting that I didn’t love and care for her in the way I should. Love is a word people use to express their feelings for each other, but God is in love with the world. In fact, God so loves the world that he sent his Son to save it not to condemn it. Certainly God has no reason to condemn the world, but the people who live in it are like the abusive husbands who have no respect for their wives. Husbands for this analogy represent all of humanity who have abused, neglected and oppressed the wonderful world God created.
Domestic violence is a scary reality that is increasing and I don’t mean to trivialise it, but our treatment of the world has worrying comparisons. We love the world when it gives us what we want and if it wasn’t there we would, if we could, go hunting for it like an abandoned husband. We are so sorry. We want her back. We love her, we proclaim, and we’ll take greater care of her in the future. How many times have victims heard those words?
Yesterday was Climate Sunday and so I was inspired to imagine the world as the victim of domestic violence. Well, we live together and God blessed us with a responsibility to care for each other, but humanity takes more than it gives. The world has the scars to prove it.
I wondered how long it would last before we woke up to what it would cost us to care, really care, for the world!
When the traffic reduced to a trickle and the air we breathe was fresher I heard people begin to proclaim lockdown as a blessing. At last we were learning the lesson that we can change old habits, travel less and work from home and make a difference. Amen, we said, but now we know the cost everyone is being encouraged to get back in their cars, on the buses and into the city offices. How long will it take before we wake up to the changes we must make to save the planet don’t come without a cost because we have profited so much from the corruption, abuse and pollution for so long.
I had read the Daily Devotion from Revd. Dr David Pickering yesterday with a brilliant reflection on Psalm 13 which, if you didn’t see, I recommend you find on the United Reformed Church link through our website. The Psalmist starts by asking the question:
How long will you forget me, Lord,
and hide your face away?
How long shall evils tear my heart
and troubles fill my day?
How long will it be before we realise that OUR normal isn’t the will of God that we ask to be done and we can’t go running back to how we used to be. How long will our evil actions tear the heart from the world and fill her days with troubles? How long must the ‘wife’ wrestle with her thoughts and have sorrow in her heart every day? How long will the abusive husband triumph over her before the violence ends?
If the world was my wife I would look after her better than I do…..
If the world was my wife I would repent of any abuse to her and I would never want that ’normal’ back, ‘cause she can’t take much more and I don’t know what I’ll do without her!