In an imperfect world, what is it we all are truly seeking?

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By Stacey Manning, Managing Editor

Writers will tell you when we are moved to write, we write—often without knowledge or understanding of a direction.
Sometimes we write because we have to. Other times we write because we are driven to.
September is pushing to a close and before we know it 2011 will be gone.
This year has been difficult and challenging for me, as it has been for too many others I know. In recent months health issues have made me reflect deeply about life, the way I live it, the way I interact with others.
Below is a piece I wrote not because I had to, but because I needed to.
It’s not about news or events in Brunswick County. It’s not about a current event. 
It just is.
This wasn’t written to call others’ beliefs into question; nor is it shared as a summation of my beliefs—space here is too limited.
As I felt when I wrote it, it is merely a reflection of life and how some of us live it, and how many, many of us long for change.

I am a Christian but I do not believe we are born and die and go to a literal pearly gate in heaven, get judged, pass through or pass down.

I believe souls are in a constant state of enlightenment. We are always learning, always yearning to be better—to be more loving, to be more kind, to be more forgiving, to be more understanding and compassionate.

I believe even the worst of us want nothing more than to be loved and forgiven and embraced.

And yet we are human. We are fallible. We are messed up. We make mistakes. We have things done to us that are hard to explain, sometimes impossible to comprehend.

We love, we laugh, we give, we grow; and we hurt.

We see the best in one another, and we see the worst.

And so I believe I am not born to only live until I die.

I don’t anticipate a pearly gate in front of a sea of white fluffy clouds. I don’t believe I will be greeted by angels playing harps and singing songs.

Honestly, that would annoy the hell out of me; although I’ll try to avoid going there.

I believe most of us are on the same journey—whether you are a Buddhist, Catholic, Baptist, atheist or something else. I think whether you are genuinely good or bad, we all want the same thing.


To know That love.

To know His love. (Or Her love, if you so believe.)

We want to be embraced and forgiven and loved and accepted.

We want to do the same for others.

The further we get from that love for ourselves, the more we want it.

The more we want it, the more we need it, sometimes the further away we live from it.

I tell people I’m a Utopian at heart, although life makes that unrealistic.

Yes, a “crusty old editor” like me, someone whose job it is “just to sell papers” would like nothing more than a world without stories of corruption and death and suffering.

Truly, I want all of us to love and care for one another the way He loves us.

But in this imperfect world where imperfect humans are driven by their own free will, it is not our reality.

So we run, walk, spin, tumble and fall to our knees doing the best we can.

We call upon others—both real and unknown—to help us on our way.

I believe our energies are recycled through a time and place that are more complicated than any of us have the ability to understand.

And we journey.

We journey to know love. To give love. To receive love.

And none of us get it right the first time.

And maybe not the first 100 times.

But our God loves us so greatly our chances are many. Faith in love is infinite.

And so we continue to journey.

We journey through giving and receiving. We love through laughter and through pain.

And through it all we grow. We make mistakes; we hurt; we cry. We change; we give. We are. We be.

And in this life, in this journey, my mistakes are many. My pain is great. My sorrow is overwhelming.

My laughter is much, but not enough. My giving is great, but could be more. My life learning came later than it should, so my storage of knowledge is less than I need.

And when this journey comes to an end, I will remain.

What I am will continue to be much greater than this earthly body.

You will be. 

I will be. 

The greatest of all Love will be infinity.