“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
1 Corinthians 13:1
Planned Parenthood. Cecil the Lion. Two of the most explosive revelations to hit the news this past July. And, for good reason, we’re still talking about them. People need to know what is happening to our discarded babies; not only are they denied the love and protection of their mothers….they are regarded as little more than frogs dissected in biology labs, (although truth be told…. I have a problem with that, too.)
And then there’s Cecil the Lion. I admit I’m biased. I’m an animal lover, and the concept of killing a creature simply for the thrill of it offends me, deeply. I remain haunted by photos I’ve seen…. a woman smiling next to the bloody giraffe she’d just slaughtered; a beautiful elephant lying dead next to an elated group; the flowers she was eating when she’d been surprised and killed still visible in her mouth.
There are common elements here: Killing a person or creature who has no chance to defend themselves….death for profit…. lives snuffed out, and for what? We have the responsibility to ask these questions. But what’s happening now just leaves me feeling very tired. Nearly every time I get online, I see something to the effect of, “I am so sick of hearing about Cecil the Lion… what does that matter when (insert your chosen atrocity here) is happening, and no one cares?” Some people have even taken the time to create little memes…many with the Joker. And really, what better way is there to express to someone that what moves them to empathy matters very little to you?
Let me be clear…. if I am comparing which issue is more devastating, it’s the baby harvesting… no debate about that. But why are we comparing? Yes, there is truth there… babies rank above lions…. But when we, as Christians, get online and start spewing that what “the rest of the world” gets upset about isn’t a big deal… where is the love? Paul addressed this very issue thousands of years ago, reminding us that what is true doesn’t matter so very much if it’s not said in love.
“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”
I have a really hard time believing we will ever move non-believers to the arms of Christ by making it clear that their feelings aren’t as important as our agendas.
A few days ago, I clicked on a link shared by a large Christian blog. The post included a video clip of Jimmy Kimmel in tears, discussing Cecil the Lion. Following the clip, a lengthy paragraph unfolded, ridiculing Kimmel for his emotion and “misguided sympathies”.
Why? Why do this?
“Lord, when you called my name, it wasn’t because I was righteous, or because I had all the right answers. I was, and am, just a sinner in need of a savior, and, in love, you took me. When I’m speaking to others, please whisper to my heart to always keep love first, because that’s always what you do with me, and my goal, always, is to be more like you.