Coco Calling No. 107 - Islands in the Sea
One of my happy pastimes is to read newspapers. Or at least, I do read them for a while until I eventually decide that it’s far more fun to chew them up. And so, one day last week, I found myself reading an edition of “The Parrot Times.” This reported on the human strife taking place in America. And it was a story which made me feel very, very sad. Because the story of humanity is rather like the story of the Earth……
In the beginning, there was one great continent called Pangea. It was a “super-continent.” Strong, unified and majestic. But over time, it started to split into two. And then these two parts, Eurasia and Gondwanaland, -they fragmented further. Up to the point where one original continent became seven. And soon there were countless little islands appearing in the vast oceans and seas. Standing apart from all of the other land forms in a kind of “insular” independence. Proud, defiant, and arrogant: each one believing that it was superior to all of the other islands around them.
And so it came to pass with humanity. An “island mentality” has so often led to an intolerance of different customs, cultures, religions and skin colour. And it’s even affected the Christian Church. Out of one original church have come more than 40 major divisions, and over 30,000 separate denominations. Rather like a vast scattering of islands. And on occasions, the divide between those islands has been immense, because humanity was at the helm. Just think of the history of the Catholics and Protestants……
Difference is fine. After all, there are all kinds of different parrots! Yes, difference is fine so long as it doesn’t degenerate into violence and strife, hatred and discrimination. Because when it sinks to this level, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. A maelstrom of anger, resentment and conflict. It’s happened so many times throughout the history of humanity. With so many needless wars and acts of harm and violence and cruelty towards others. No wonder God had to send Jesus, -His very own Son, -to give humanity a way out of this mess.
America is in a great mess right now. And the way out of it will never be achieved through violence and force. No, the way out of it is simply to put Jesus into the very heart of the trouble. To instil LOVE into the middle of hatred; HUMILITY into the midst of arrogance; UNITY into the very heart of discord; COMPASSION into the midst of anger. And the PEACE of the Holy Spirit into the very core of the violence. Jesus can do this if humans allow Him to. But will they……? Well, yes they can. There really are examples of hope out there. Even in a vast city like Miami. Where a group of American police officers knelt down to pray with a group of protestors in a spontaneous act of peace, harmony and unity.
We’re all living in the same world. It’s the same water that laps upon the shores of each island and land mass. All of us face the challenges and difficulties of everyday life. And we can only know true peace and love if we place the essence of Jesus in the midst of the very air that we breathe…….
“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbour; act as if you do, and you will presently come to love him.” (C.S. Lewis: “Mere Christianity”)
“Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mat 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27b)