By Lee Van Ham
The wisdom of the ancient saying that “the love of money is a root of all evil” has never shown more clarity on what’s happening in the world than what it does today.
Now, counter that in our thinking with: the wisdom that “the love of Earth is a root of good beyond what we’ve yet imagined.” When these two loves are compared, the love of Earth is immeasurably more resilient and durable.
Seeing the world and our innumerable crises through the lenses of politics, which is the point of view that dominates most human life, misses the wisdom of these two loves—one that floods the world with lies, destruction, and death; the other that lifts the world with truth, regeneration, and life anew.
Loving money is inherent in the systems of economic growth. Making sure economies are growing rules the world, regardless of political affiliations. Making sure we are among the growers consumes lives. To be on the outside of growth is to be a loser in this win-lose way of seeing things. Capitalism swears by more and bigger as progress—a religious love that always outweighs loving Earth, never mind what religion is professed by capitalism’s ardent believers.
The failure of this love to save us from today’s crises is revealed more fully every day as crises intensify, not lessen. Consider then how loving Earth is revolutionary. Radical.
During his short life, revolutionary Che Guevara said, “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that a great feeling of love guides the true revolutionary. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.” Does hearing that from Guevara surprise you? It certainly surprised me when I first read it. When I reflected on my surprise, I thought, saying “God is love” is wildly revolutionary but I learned it in Sunday School as a simple reassurance of a loving God, not a call to revolution against the love of money. So I never learned its radical edge. For most of life, I have not recognized anything revolutionary in those three words. Now I hear it as Divine Call to Earth’s revolution—a revolution continually exposing the failures of the love of money.
The love of money continues to devastate Earth. But the revolutionary love of Earth is an integral power in Earth’s revolutionary ongoing creation. Our love for her further empowers her, even as she does the same for us.
Today the love of money continues to intensify crises in democracy, food supply, water scarcity, the economic divide, and the climate. The power of love for Earth and cosmos is the best power for us to trust in this utter breakdown. Growing such love also grows our connection with God, whatever name we call this mighty power —a mystery beyond our full understanding. Like love.