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 (once again) 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 few weeks, my son James, the boy in the main blog picture with me, has been finding things hard. He is finding it very hard to go out of the house, and over the whole school summer holiday has managed it just three times; he is still really struggling… We’ve felt helpless as we’ve tried to support him, tried to coax him to come out for a little trip out to some of his favourite places, often in vain…
“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 specialists and professionals 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 finding this hard, we know that because of his Autism he may not understand why he feels like he does, or at least how to communicate it to us. We do know he seems to find going out scary, but he knows we love him.
“Nothing you can see that isn’t shown…” we keep looking, keep searching for why he isn’t willing to come outside, seeing into his eyes and seeing his struggling, and loving him through it. “No one you can save that can’t be saved…” we will ‘save’ James, he will be able to come out again, we will find the key to unlock this with him… We will love him back to feeling safe out of the house.
“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 struggling 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…
As Paul (the Apostle, not McCartney!) wrote 2,000 years ago; “Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)
So keep loving, because sometimes, maybe more often than we think, all you need is love…
31st August 2017
Lyric excerpts and image rights Lennon/McCartney and Capitol Records.
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