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Cords of Human Kindness

Hosea 11. 1 - 9

I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love.

On this day after D Day, when most of us are still rattled by the traumatic memory of what happened 80 years ago, these words from the prophet Hosea about how God loved Israel are troubling. and also they are a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun. Speaking through Hosea, the Lord says he loved Israel, and yet Israel worshiped idols and did not acknowledge God's great Love. Cords of human kindness and bands of love God said he led them with. and yet, he said, my people are bent on turning away from me.

The worship of idols and Baal leads humanity down a dangerously slippery slope of evil which was manifested by the Third Reich and resulted in the largest amphibious invasion the world had ever seen. "When will we ever learn?" the song said. What primal human instinct refuses to accept the cords of human kindness and the bands of love? Even 80 years later, the men in my family weep over the consequences of that invasion and the loss of their beloved brother, uncle, cousin. Their confusion about the tragedy jades their decision making because they wonder how something so evil can happen in this beautiful world? They are people who live out of a complete understanding of God's "cords of human kindness and bands of love." They cannot fathom the evil that Hitler inflicted on the world. Their lives have been riddled with other tragedies, and yet they are humble, kind and honest to a fault; in a way they are in this world but not of it.

And so we must go forward, remembering that since the time of the prophet Hosea, God has been trying to remind us of how much he loves us, what that love looks like and what it means. And if we individually understand that love, we must not stop until everyone we know understands it...we are called to weave the cords of human kindness and the bands of love into a lifeline for this troubled and broken world. Only then will we know that kingdom of heaven that is now; only then will we be like the beautiful family I married this world but not of it.


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