EPISODE 160: Who Is Going To Love Me (If You Don’t)?

Where can God be located? Where can we “feel after him” (Acts 17:27)?

Brideshead-Revisited-laurence-olivier-5116445-324-410Well, the short answer is, Wherever love is. St. John put it well: “He who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

For myself, I think there is one person in your life — husband, wife, mother, father, daughter, son — the person who loves you, I mean, not the person you love — whose love is the location of the love of God.

This is the best response, in my book, to Lessing’s famous “ditch”. Call it a Bridge over Troubled Waters. G.E. Lessing (1729-1781) said that universal principles and facts of human experience could not be based on conditional historical events. (He was thinking about Christianity, and was, actually, a kind of Christian philosopher.) Another way of saying this is, How can I experience here and now something that took place there and then? It is the final and decisive question with which theology is concerned.

The short answer to the question, and my evidence for this is Top 40 music, is “you”. Which is to say, “You’re the one that I want” (Grease). Or, to quote Burt Bacharach/Hal David by way of Dionne Warwick, “Who is Going to Love Me (If You Don’t)?”.

Where this comes to completely connect with experience is when you are dying. You want somebody there, at least if you’re not too sedated to care any more, which is, in today’s world, the way it usually is at the very end. But before that, before the very (sedated) end, you want somebody. You don’t want a lot of people. (That’s because you don’t have the energy to deal with a lot of people, even people plural.) But you do want somebody. You absolutely need somebody.

The dying process is incontrovertible evidence that God is located in the one-to-one. You fill in the blank.

Podcast 160 is dedicated to Jono Linebaugh.