Last thoughts on ‘LOVE’ I hear you say surely there can be no ‘last’ thoughts on ‘LOVE’ as we must keep learning more and more about LOVE all our life long. However I did feel as my last blog on the subject was entitled ‘1st thoughts on LOVE’ that I should attempt to bring all our learning together to some sort of conclusion… and we have learnt so much! My final piece of inspiration was a newspaper article about a pop up shop in Soho this Christmas which is intriguingly called ‘CHOOSE LOVE’. According to the New Statesman the inspiration behind this shop is this… you buy lots of stuff but none of it is for you!
“Turn off London’s biggest shopping streets, push past the fashionable crowds filling the narrow streets of Soho, and you’ll come to a small, bright shop on a corner. With its glass walls, young staff and minimalist display, it could be any of pop-up shops that bloom around this part of town. But there’s a difference. The items on display on the white table in the middle of the room include lifejackets and silvery emergency blankets. The staff are unpaid volunteers. Welcome to Choose Love, where you can come in and shop as much as you want, but not take a single thing with you.
In Storm we have been looking at how to better express ‘LOVE’ in community and have been ‘considering the birds” ‘as Jesus advised us to do, particularly that amazing phenomenon(often seen during the Winter season and often over Brighton Old Pier)the ‘murmuration’ of starlings. This is where huge numbers of the birds move as one at some unseen, unheard signal…… no jostling, no fighting, no factions - united in common purpose. We have been considering how we might ‘murmurate’ as a Storm community, not hanging onto power or position but doing whatever needs to be done in order that visitors or guests would first and foremost experience ‘LOVE’ and want to consider becoming part of us. This particular photo is so great as the birds appear to be forming a heart shape ‘murmuration’.
And here is Johan Cruyff and what does he have to do with all this…..? well as an exponent of something called total football in the Netherlands in the 70’s he also , like the starlings, demonstrates that amazing quality of ‘LOVE’ which never seeks glory or advantage for itself. Total football is defined as “football in which any outfield player can take over the role of any other player in a team”. And a lovely story about Johan who apparently gave his number 9 shirt to a fellow team player who could not find his usual number 7 just before a big match. Johan then went to the bin where the spare shirts were kept and pulled out the number 14 which up till then was not a number any player would have chosen. It since became his signature number along with lots of other players who aspired to his greatness.
Jesus was famously asked about ‘LOVE’, He said we should LOVE God and LOVE our neighbour as our self. Familiar words, but how about this version of his statement in a translation called the message, “ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them”. Wow, that brings it home, doesn’t it? How different would our places of work, worship, schools, colleges and family gatherings be this Christmas if we literally took that advice to heart!
Have a blessed and joyful Christmas.
Revie G December 2017