From Ear Worms to Anthems

Commissioner Rosalie PeddleI don’t know if you are familiar with the term ‘ear worm’ but there are occasions when I find one has crawled into my head and made itself at home. For those unfamiliar with the term, an ear worm is a song that gets stuck in your head, repeating itself over and over, even after the music has long stopped.

As February is known as the month of love in countries around the world, and I work around some very musical people, it is not surprising that it is a song about love that got stuck in my head. You might have heard this popular song composed in 1965 entitled, ‘What the World Needs Now is Love’ (David/Bacharach). As the lyrics have played over and over again in my head, I am convinced that the song has an even deeper meaning and a compelling relevance for 2019. The lyrical phrase in the song goes on to say ‘no, not just for some, but for everyone’, and I find this personally convicting, even challenging in our call to social justice. While the songwriter is talking about human love, emphasizing the importance for us, as human beings to like each other, to have patience with each other, to share with each other, and to live in community together, we know that this is easy to achieve when everything is going just right. BUT once problems are encountered, relationships are broken, and civil unrest unfolds, the world is in chaos and love is replaced by hatred, affecting us all. How God’s heart must break as he looks upon His world and the people he has created.

The song goes on to say, ‘Love’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.’ And this may be true if we are speaking in terms of human love, BUT the good news of the gospel is that God has provided for his people a greater love than mere human love.

‘This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed: by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.’

Constant, boundless and inclusive

As I have experienced myself, the Love of God is constant, boundless and inclusive! It is this powerful and perfect love that must fill our hearts, so that it overflows to those around us. It is this powerful love that draws people to put their faith and hope in Jesus, making transformation and liberation possible. This amazing love is what the world needs now…right now! And we all have been called by God to spread his lavish love without limitations to all around us. People will see God dramatically in the way we love, care for, respect, and treat each other.

I am grateful for social media which continues to give daily examples of this true love of God as the Salvation Army is even now, ‘on the ground’ in a number of countries around the world where people need God’s love, his sweet, amazing, powerful love that heals broken hearts and gives hope to the hopeless.

We all need to hear the words ‘I love you’, or in my case, ‘Nanny I love you’, some of my favourite words spoken by my grandchildren. In similar fashion, Jesus reminds us constantly of his great love for us, but we cannot keep this experience to ourselves. This gift of God is meant to be embraced and released. John 13: 34-35 (Message) ‘Let me give you a new commandment: Love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other.’

Sharing love

While I may not have immediately felt the love in receiving the gift of this ear worm, I truly do see that what the world needs now is love and we can have a part in making that a reality. Another interesting feature of an ear worm is that it can be shared, and if enough people share the same ear worm, it actually becomes an anthem, which is defined as ‘an uplifting song that identifies and unites a particular group or cause’. Isn’t it fitting that something that began in one person could be spread to others and through its spreading, become an anthem around the whole world? Have you experienced the ear worm yet? Can we make it our anthem?

In this month of love and throughout the coming days, my prayer for all of us is this: God fill us with your powerful love so that it will be possible to love people to Jesus! May we make ourselves available so this prayer will be answered, so we can be what the world needs now!

Commissioner Rosalie Peddle