Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I remember from my youth the Joni Mitchell song “Both Sides Now” and thought of its chorus while reading a posting by Jennifer on her Blog “Conversion Diary”. One of Joni’s Chorus verses is:

“Ive looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
Its loves illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all” (Joni Mitchell, 1969)

As is often the case those that have been through the longest battles, the biggest failures, the worst diseases or the farthest journey exhibit remarkable wisdom. Sometimes it is someone dying of AIDS/HIV, a Soldier survivor of a brutal war, or a woman coming to terms with an abortion. Their stories, their journeys certify their wisdom.

Jennifer’s journey is documented in her Blog. Here is a quote from a recent posting that triggered my memory of “Ive looked at love from both sides now.”

“One of the most obvious differences I've seen since I've gone from running in mostly nonreligious to mostly religious social circles is how much more life you see among religious groups of people. When I think back on the almost thirty years I spent in secular social networks, I'm struck by how comparatively quiet and sterile everything seemed. In religious circles I see so much more marriage, more adoption, more biological children, more people letting friends or relatives live with them -- more crazy, messy, loud life.

In particular, the most striking difference I've seen in this area is when it comes to helping people in need. I've seen a sincere desire to help others in both my old and new social networks, but it plays out in very different ways. In the secular crowd people might volunteer at soup kitchens or organize aid programs for the needy, the most dedicated might even join the Peace Corps. The Christians, I noticed, volunteered and did aid programs and went on international missions as well, but they crossed a line that I almost never saw crossed in the secular world: they were willing to help others by letting them become intimately involved in their own lives.”

Read Jennifer's entire posting. I think she does know something about love now.

View Joni Mitchell singing "Both Sides Now" in 1970.

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