A valentine message: 'All you need is love'

A Christian Science perspective: Valentine's Day or not, in God's love for each of His children, no one is left out.

All you need is love,” says a 1960s Beatles’ song. It’s still popular – you might even be singing it right now.

“All you need is love, all you need is love/ All you need is love, love, love is all you need.” It’s an easy lyric. Songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartney included the word “love” about 40 times in the song.

In taking a closer look at the lyrics, I found a surprise. The song is not simply about romantic love, as the chorus might suggest. To me the verses carry a deeply spiritual message. I see a message about Love as the divine ever-presence that spiritual thinkers know Love to be. How else could they say about love: “It’s easy”?

Consider this verse:

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
It’s easy.
All you need is love ...

The thought in this verse reminds me that Love is God, and that’s why all good is already provided and will ever be available to all. This is what makes loving easy and natural. Some people with relationship wrinkles might disagree. To them, love may not seem so easy. Some may even say that love hurts.

But Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Monitor, wrote this profound statement about Love and human needs in the Christian Science textbook: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 494). Every need? When I first read this, I thought, How can she say that when there’s so much evidence of human need all around, especially the need for love?

But after a closer study of Science and Health, I learned that God’s law of love is ever in operation (just as the law of mathematics is always in operation: 2+2 always equals 4), but to be experienced, it must be acknowledged and embraced. From Love’s vantage point every need is already met, but for us to enjoy this humanly, we must realize it consciously, as Jesus did.

For Jesus, loving was easy. The Master said our Father met his every need, that he did nothing of himself – that it was always the Father working through him (see John 5:19). This conscious recognition of his oneness with God, divine Love, is what made loving easy for him. Jesus wouldn’t have seen himself as lacking love. 

Not one of us can lack love, either. But if we think of love as simply a variable human emotion, we may think we do lack love, and may suffer as if we are needy. But true love, which comes from God, is never limited. When we think it is limited, we limit loving, and that’s when love can seem to hurt. But we cannot suffer from lack of love when we recognize divine Love as the ever-present source of our very being and when we allow divine affection to be expressed through each of us humanly.

What if we do let love pour through, but affection is not returned? We can surely take heart. Love is never wasted. Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Human affection is not poured forth vainly, even though it meet no return. Love enriches the nature, enlarging, purifying, and elevating it” (p. 57).   

How do we recognize divine Love? Love appears as tangible evidence of the ever-present divine influence, appropriately expressed humanly. It is contentment meant to be. It is joy, welling up from within and urging heartfelt happiness. It will burst out as song. You will know it as it has always been known. You will see it as it has always been shown. You will love it as you have always been loved.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.