Since John Lennon wrote this iconic Beatles song 50 years ago, there has been a fair amount of speculation about what it means, what he was trying to tell us…
“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done. Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung. Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game. It’s easy. All you need is love…”
So why am I writing about a 50 year old Beatles song in a blog about inclusion for children and young people with additional needs and disability? What do Lennon’s words have to say to us in this context today?
For the last two weeks, my son James, the boy in the main blog site picture with me, has been really poorly. A very nasty viral infection has totally wiped him out and despite trips to the Doctor, and more recently some medication to try and help him, he is still really struggling… We’ve felt helpless as we’ve tried to support him, tried to coax him to have a tiny morsel of food, often in vain… He’s not eaten well for two weeks now.
“Nothing you can do that can’t be done…” if we’ve tried everything and still have failed, then we keep trying, we keep going, we keep loving. “Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game…” we keep pushing the Doctors and medical staff for other ways to help James, other ideas, we keep learning to play the game, we keep loving.
“There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known…” we know our son better than anyone, we know that he is really ill, we know that because of his Autism he doesn’t understand why he feels like he does, or that the medicine is to help him. We know he is scared, but he knows we love him.
“Nothing you can see that isn’t shown…” we keep looking, keep searching for why he isn’t getting better, seeing into his eyes and seeing his pain and suffering, and loving him through it. “No one you can save that can’t be saved…” we will save James, he will recover, he will get well, he will eat properly again… We will love him back to health.
“Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung…” in our trials we sing the praises of our God and thank Him for helping us to help James. For giving us the energy we need, the dedication and patience we need, but most of all, the love we need.
John Lennon wrote that “It’s easy…”. It’s not. But without God with us it would be a lot harder. Without friends and family praying for us, thinking of us, asking after James, cheering us on, loving us, it would be much, much harder.
But Lennon was right when he wrote “All you need is love, love. Love is all you need…” Love is the thread that runs through the whole song, and 50 years on it is the thread that runs through all that we are doing for James. Love sustains us.
Maybe you are caring for a sick child at this time… whether they have additional needs or not, it’s not easy, it’s hard. But love does make a difference, the love of God, the love of family and friends, and the boundless, endless love that we have for our children is what we need to keep going, keep fighting, keep doing all we can…
So keep loving, because sometimes, maybe more often than we think, all you need is love.
6th January 2017
Lyric excerpts and image rights Lennon/McCartney and Capitol Records.