Monday, March 13, 2017

Come, Come Learn About A Religion Called Love by David Trock

The funeral took place less than a mile from Kathryn's childhood home. Friends and family parked their cars along a narrow lane and stepped over a length of spongy grass to the burial site, where they gathered amidst tearful smiles and hugs of bittersweet reunion. Those who knew Kathryn best were curious to know why she was being interred, fairly certain that she would have preferred to have her body cremated or donated to science. Her grief-stricken parents acknowledged this in principle, explaining that everything had happened so quickly and that Kathryn was too young to leave any insructions.
When a quorum had at last arrived, all discussions ceased. A woman with waves of dark, graying hair stepped forward to identify herself as a humanist celebrant. She made a few introductory comments about Kathryn's life and embarked on a secular service that was perceptibly devoid of biblical reference--there was no inference about heaven or the afterlife, no platitudes about God's greater purpose for Kathryn's death, and certainly no assertion that she was resting in a better place. She said:
"Death has come to our dear friend, Kathryn James, as it comes to all living things. We now find ourselves in Kathryn's absence and look to each other for guidance and comfort. In this way, love and understanding can triumph over pain, which is what she would have wanted.
Let us always remember Kathryn as a unique individual who gave so much to her precious students. May our memories of Kathryn bring delight to our hearts and strengthen us in times of need. Let us always be grateful for Kathryn's presence in our lives. As living memories, we now possess the greatest gift one person can give to another, to honor her by living peacefully and productively in the days ahead."
Her mother briefly spoke and thanked everyone for being there. Her father, bereft as only a loving father can be read a sampling of Kathryn's personal musings. He quoted directly from her handwritten manuscript, "A Religion Called Love,"
to the delight of her friends, who laughed and cried at the warmth of her self-effacing humor. It was during this moment that the tragedy of Kathryn's death was most palpable. Her words were inspirational to those who had never heard such things--she explained that all people, regarding of wealth or personal circumstances, deserve a spiritual vehicle in their lives, a source of hope and comfort without the pretense of worship. She went further to suggest a more sensible faith to unify people of all cultures, and that faith, she asserted, without fear of reprisal, is love...

A Religion Called Love

By David Trock

All wrapped up in a simple fictional murder mystery is an amazing story of a young woman named Kathryn. That she was murdered lends a plot to the novel to those who see it under a certain genre and decide to read it. I recognize that this was a perfect way for the author to write what he had to say, but, please, I beg of you, read it for what the author is sharing with us about Kathryn and, I believe, probably his own opinions...

I remember meeting my first Kathryn. She was an older lady, maybe in her 70-80s...I was probably in my 20s...What I knew about that lady was that she was love personified. All you had to do was get near her or talk with her and it seemed that love would envelop you no matter what the conversation was about.

Kathryn was a child of love...she loved all things... And when she had been taken to church, she soon realized that, for her, it was the congregation that allowed her to see love in action. As she grew, it was her outward show of love, philia love, that drew friends to her. I am sure that many felt like I did about the older lady--you could tell that Kathryn really cared about you. Many boys fell in love with her, but it was not anything but philia love (friendship) in her mind. Two of the boys, and Kathryn, became a trio, who could talk about anything and everything. Both of the boys were looking toward science in their future careers. Kathryn was looking to teach first graders.

Kathryn had realized through her school years, that if we could only ensure that first graders were given the love, encouragement and love of learning that she had discovered, that would multiply over and over as each child grew and moved on to share the love and knowledge they'd received...

Kathryn's children had loved her. When other teachers would go off and talk, Kathryn would stay right there with the children, getting to know them on a personal basis, sharing their activities, their fun, their joy. The only sad part of the book is that Kathryn had done her job so well, that when she was killed, the children were devastated... No wonder...

At the same time, when she died, she had just finished her manuscript. The title of her book, A Religion Called Love," was really a non-fiction book explaining what she had learned, how she saw life, and realized at the end, that in order to truly love, no specific religion allowed love to truly occur... She chose to say that LOVE must become the religion of the world...

So while a murder investigation goes on, Kathryn's manuscript was being shared all over the world. Groups were formed with her manuscript as the basis for study and action. People of all religions were giving up their earlier choice and choosing to study and apply the principles of Love. Yes, it was totally secular. It allowed people to love each other regardless of a religious affiliation, or, as Kathryn explained, in spite of what they had once chosen.

While the murder mystery was not written with a lot of twists and turns, the author did a very intriguing character creation to be the three main characters, other than Kathryn. These three characters all knew and loved also obsessed with her. This choice allows readers to watch these three characters as they respond to her death, their actions, and the choices that they make. To me, watching these characters was the essence of the fictional mystery that is being solved.
The humanists sang loudly. They sang about love. They celebrates the lives of Jesus, Gandhi, Siddhartha (Buddha), Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lennon and others. They praised the virtues of real people like Muhammad who once said, "Do not consider any act of kindness insignificant; even meeting your brother with a cheerful face."
And their voices did not go unnoticed. Evangelical leaders considered the movement blasphemous. Muslims were outraged by the mortal references to Muhammad and demanded a hijad! Hasidic rabbis denounced Kathryn's followers as mere cult members and went further to dismiss the writings of a woman. The evening news feasted on the controversy. People on all sides of the argument chimed in to the voyeuristic delight of millions. The wide attention drawn to Kathryn's writings fueled a disturbing number of hate crimes. It made litle sense that the musings of a young schoolteacher would become the epicenter of hostility, but there was no mistaking it. Dormant feuds that had been long settled were reignited with fresh points of view about the legitimacy of one faith versus another...

I wonder, I believe God loved Kathryn... Kathryn had known and accepted God's love and passed it on during all of her life. She didn't need to go to church to love. She didn't need to try to convince people of other religions to love--she loved them first... Something like this young lady...

Other than the last two videos which seemed to me to be saying what this book is all about...This young lady would have been a friend of Kathryn, don't you think? Read this book and discover a religion that goes by one commandment... Love...


David Trock has been published in several genres including crime fiction and medical non-fiction. As a novelist, his foray into murder mystery was launched in 2016 with the psychological thriller, "A Religion Called Love." In 2007 his first book titled, "Healing Fibromyalgia," was published by Wiley & Sons. He's written book chapters and journal articles primarily in the field of rheumatology. He has enjoyed serving as an attending physician at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut and as a clinician on faculty at Yale University School of Medicine.

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