Tony Bennet’s 1953 hit, “Rags to Riches” has been resounding in my mind all morning, and made me realize that it is not only a pauper to prince, magical, monetary makeover, but a spiritual one as well; not a romantic romance about to make poor old Tony feel like a king.
No, when I thought about the implications of rags to riches, it reminded me of those of us who suffer from spiritual poverty; of not knowing the meaning of real love. I mean REAL love. The kind of love that 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 talks about, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Ah, but it sometimes does. Sometimes our love is not always patient or kind. Sometimes our love does envy and is even rude. Sometimes it is self-seeking and easily angered. And it definitely sometimes keeps records of wrongs. Yes, sometimes love fails.
And that is the poverty part. We are never so poor as when we withdraw our love from our spiritual bank account and leave it with a next to zero balance. Oh, sure, there’s enough left to cover the love necessities, but the surplus can definitely be withdrawn. So we think. But life doesn’t work that way. If we want to keep our spiritual self healthy, which is necessary to keep the rest of life in balance, then we must replace the love that has been withdrawn. It may be difficult to do. It may take looking within to replace that withdrawal. It may take a radical act of courage to put back what was taken out. But if we want our lives to reflect “Rags to Riches” and not vice versa, then why don’t we go ahead and make a healthy re-deposit of love?
Why don’t we all sing that “Rags to Riches song?
“I know I’d go from rags to riches, if you would only say you care…”
(Apologies to all the “youngsters” out there…I’m reaching way back!)