May 2006 Linn County Leader Column – “All You Need Is Love”

Once upon a time, a man who some called a visionary (and others just heckled as a burned-out doper/musician) helped co-write a song that had five simple words in its title; an emotionally plaintive song that touched millions of lives around the world and one that would eventually change the way I would look at the world many years later, but only after a harrowing near-death experience.

“All You Need is Love” is that song, penned by John Lennon (along with Paul McCartney) of The Beatles.

Yes, some might reflect back on that band’s heyday and sarcastically say that Mr. Lennon should have stopped using the drugs before they sucked out the best of his creativity; I would agree with that statement on some points…but the five words to THAT particular song are priceless, and very thought-provoking.

Back in 1989, after that harrowing automobile accident which took the life of another man, who was DUI at the wheel and just-happened to fall asleep before hitting me head-on, I walked this world living my life for no one but myself. I thoroughly enjoyed using drugs and boozing it up, make no mistake about it. And, yet, 17 years ago on a beautiful spring day, my life intersected with another person’s at a critical crossroads; I was given the choice to continue my earthly walk on two differing paths, and it was because of what occurred on that May morning that I gave my life to the Lord Jesus. I suddenly realized (through the Holy Spirit that filled my very being after I accepted Jesus) that my life was not my own, that I was merely “pretending” to be in control, like so many others who are searching and seeking for an answer.

That, my friends, hit me like the proverbial “ton of bricks.”

And later on the next day, after a miraculous recovery from internal bleeding, swelling of the brain, crushed ankle, broken back, all sorts of cuts and bruises, and a light coma…I woke up to hear that very song aforementioned, gently playing in the background. And those five short, but powerful words echoed over and over again in my ears.

All you need is love…all you need is love…all you need is love; love…love is all you need.

“I get it now, God,” I can so vividly remember thinking. “It IS truly all about love. Your love.”

And then, I broke down and cried. Crying not for what had happened to me physically, but what was happening to me emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Because from the moment when I had accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, I found myself being reborn; renewed; and refreshed. Not in an earthly or worldly way, but in God’s spiritual way. I was finally seeing my broken-down and useless life for what it really had been, and not for what I had only “thought” it was for so many years. In the eyes of God, I had been that “prodigal son” who had left his home and squandered his inheritance in the world, blinded by the pretty and flashy things that had held me sway. And then, wallowing in a nasty, smelly, and dark pig pen of my own making, I had cried out in despair…and He was there to set me free with His love.

You know, what the entire world really needs is that love of God that surpasses all understanding. It is an all-encompassing and globally reaching love that knows no bounds; that is understood by all languages; and a love that can set even the most captive of souls free. And, most amazingly of all, that love is a free gift from God. All we have to do is reach out and accept it.

There have been countless days when I look back on that solitary event that changed my world, and my outlook on life, forever. I think of that awesome Power that took a person like me, who abused drugs and alcohol for many years and who really was a pretty big jerk (some would still say I haven’t changed, that I’m just a more tolerable jerk), and set me free. Totally, and truly, free. And then I think, “If God did that for me, He can do that for so many others, too!”

But then, there’s a big catch to that statement. Because if we DO accept that love, then we all have to be willing to choose to live that kind of life; and to accept that love. We have to make a conscious effort to take the “bull by the horns and run with it.” I’m here to tell you that living as a Christian in today’s world really takes some mettle to make it through some days; there are times when we look at the injustice and unfairness of how the world treats Christians and we just want to scream and kick in anger and frustration. But, as we push on and grit our teeth and smile, we understand that we’re “just a’ passing through” and that this world is not our home. We’ve got another Home waiting for us one day that will be far, far better than this one.

Yes, indeed, all we do need is love. Those touching and truthful lyrics, however misguided when written, ring so very true when looked at from a spiritual standpoint.

We all need to feel loved; to feel special; and to feel wanted. And, we are…when we give the Lord a chance to really and truly love us.

All you need is Love. His Love.

Richard proclaims this message far and wide whenever he gets a chance to spread God's Word. You can reach him via e-mail at or via an online blog at His column appears monthly in the Linn County Leader.

Key words: Linn County Leader, Slice of Home, Slice of Life, Marceline, MO, John Lennon, The Beatles, spiritually free, salvation, God's love.


One Response to May 2006 Linn County Leader Column – “All You Need Is Love”

  1. Larry Litle says:

    That is a wonderful testimony of how God brought you out of that life and changed you completely. That is what it is about- God’s love.

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