I snatched the comic book lying on a teenager’s desk. She was quick to offer to lend it to me. No matter how many decades, Archies comics I think will always be “in”. Veronica is a fashion icon. Well, she can afford to as her father is famous due to his wealth. She competes with Betty in studies and extra curricular activities but never succeeds. Betty is attractive. She is fashionable too yet in moderation. Both girls are in love with Archie and he dates both of them too.
Betty shows her love through caring and loving. She bakes his favourite cake for him, she welcomes him into the home to wash and is quick to run errands for him. Although he does like her, it seems as if Archie takes advantage of that.
On the other hand, Veronica is suspicious of Archie and gets ‘spies’ to follow him. There was a time she was envious of Betty baking a cake for his birthday that she put her hands to it – and ended up with burnt offerings. What can money not buy? She quickly resorted to doing what she is good at doing – getting things done at the click of her fingers! In fact, coming to think of it (maybe my memory serves me wrong) Veronica showed her love by being possessive of him and getting things done thanks to her abundant wealth rather than doing things herself. Archie does choose Veronica over Betty – he always was inclined to love Veronica more.
It’s fascinating that today’s culture is not exempt from this scenario. Often wealth is chosen over love and caring. “Wealth gives financial stability and makes life run smooth” – well, really??? This could be the belief of those who live in the world… but it is the reverse for those who believe in God. I see people working hard, making sacrifices at the expense of relationships – of spouse, parents, siblings, children, friends etc… so that they can succeed in securing a better job, a better car, a better house and have a better standard of life. Often it is too late when they realise that the spouse has run off with another person searching for love, the children have grown up and left the nest, siblings have let go of them and parents have long left the earth. Even sadder are the instances where their materialistic achievements were lost in an instant due to war or natural disasters – hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, mudslides… very real situations.
The Bible tells us, “To the man who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God” (Ecclesiastes 2:26). Wealth is fleeting – it comes and it goes. It doesn’t enhance the quality of life. You can have all the wealth and assets but being alone without someone to share your life – has no value whatsoever. The ‘comfort’ they earned and the betterment of life were choices that made them miss out on what is truly important. Nothing can ever replace that act of kindness or the touch of healing.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work;
If one falls down, his friend can help him up, but pity the man who falls and has no-one to help him up!
Also if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Archie’s choice may have brought him materialistic comforts, but having someone caring from the bottom of the heart is what brings quality to life… It is scientifically proven that touch induces healing. Being there for one another, being nearby is what helps – not money. It’s not gifts or services purchased by money that touches our heart and gets etched in our hearts… Rather, it is the little things that one does when in need and being there with us is what really counts.
And as believers we can never over emphasise on the fact that the Christian walk is RELATIONSHIP centred, not work centred. Work is an inevitable part of life, but that is the means to life not the purpose of life. The two greatest commandments are about LOVE – of God and of those that God has placed in our lives. Being loved – not just by words but in deeds too – is what counts. If we truly have God’s love in us, His love will out pour in actions through us… The acts of love would come naturally without any hesitation or having to think about it as He is the source… It becomes a part of us. We love, because God loved us first.
And before we judge another for their behaviour, let’s pause to think whether we have done our part in extending acts of kindness to them? Many times people make wrong choices out of loneliness or desperation as they don’t have the Good Samaritans in their lives who walk the talk. Our negligence makes us a very part of their sin as we didn’t do what we should have done.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13), whereby we know among numerous other qualities, “love is not self seeking… it does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts…” (13:5,6,7)
True love is sincere. It values the other person – not based on what they have but simply for who they are…