Today is Valentine’s Day – I feel urged to write but I don’t want to…
The theme of the day is LOVE. This word’s changed a lot for me, hence the resistance. In the evolution of life, spanned with joy and sorrows alike, a word like love is also ever-changing. It’s weight, it’s meaning, it’s responsibility, it’s goodness, it’s sadness, it’s ability – I almost added hindrance to the list, but I know that’s not fair. My own voice is echoing to me right now – ‘but the greatest of these.’ The greatest commandment on our earthly journey is to put ‘love on’ above all else. There’s not much gray in that. I feel the word ‘hindrance’ would be a slight in such a conversation.
So what does that word mean to me. I don’t fully know honestly. It’s a word, I know that. I’ve learned that real love (as I’ve come to think of it) doesn’t have to always be put to a word and is sometimes cheapened when it is. The unsaid often speaks louder anyways. A look, a touch, an embrace, an understanding sigh, being quiet together, smiling, laughing, looking forward together, remembering past goodness, saying sorry, sharing tears, sharing beers, feeling sun warm on my face, rocking on my porch, looking at stars, petting my dog, the first sip of hot coffee in the morning, sleepy morning smiles, good night kisses, holding hands to pray, feeling glad for someone else, eating good food – I could keep going.
Looking back through that short list, I see my kind of love also includes joy – intrinsic things the soul knows all by itself. Things that must be felt and you have to really pay attention to not miss those things. I think they are where love begins though – in the soul and in the heart. You must learn to recognize it in yourself before you’re much good trying to give it to someone else. My 2 cents, worth likely as much, but hard won nonetheless.
Over the past few years, I’ve known more earthly pain and disappointment than I would have ever imagined. I don’t feel this makes me special, I’m just saying. That I can still smile and have hope, I think that’s love. What you do on the other side of losing what you’ve held as ideals for as long as you can remember…that’s the beginning of a better love, perhaps. More seasoned, more earnest…more incredible maybe – since the idea wasn’t lost altogether in the storms of life.
I read something I thought was silly the other day about God giving us Valentine’s as a day to share love. I shake my head at that. No where in the Bible is Valentine’s mentioned that I know of. I won’t swear to it, but I think I’m right. However, the take heart that followed right behind my snarky, righteous thought – oh BUT love sure is mentioned, again and again and again. The takeaway, the banner over EVERY day, the goal of this life – it’s not limited to chocolate and plush animals on February 14th. You need way more than a day to begin to get it right. A lifetime at the least and that still probably won’t be enough.
What will I give today though is an ‘especially so’. Today I’ll focus on the warm fuzzies that are akin to love, ‘especially so.’ Large plush animals for my babies and lots of chocolate. Simple joys for those lil’ parts of my heart that walk around outside my body. Those lil’ souls who are learning this big ol’ scary, but beautiful world a little more every day. I will revel in their simple, child-like delight, an echo of ‘becoming like the least of these’ pounding softly in my heart, ‘especially so.’
I will embrace my husband, thankful to do so, ‘especially so.’ We will enjoy the delight of those babies together, remembering the heart and intention in which they were created. Dreamed of by us, imagined by God, perfected in His love and given so graciously to our earthly care. The embodiment of family, us and them, feels like love today- ‘especially so.’
So, I didn’t want to write, but I’m glad I did. I’m given a pause of sorts in doing so. Maybe love is the living, the dying and all the in between. It’s nothing like I used to think. It’s not one thing, it’s too big for that. Like so much, beyond my feeble understanding. Embracing what’s good and what’s true, simple and hard as that, ‘especially so’ – I’ll call that my love today ♥