Love is central to who we are as human beings. We were created by the loving hands of God in order to be in a loving relationship with Him and others. Love comes in many different forms and depths and languages, but every hint of love is like glimpsing, if only for a moment, God's glorious beauty.
Love makes us stronger while leaving us vulnerable. Love means taking a risk . . . opening up your heart, the very core of who you are, to the great possibility of feeling, accepting, or giving the gift of love. It means sacrifice and surrender, and in this broken world, it often means pain (how can imperfect people love perfectly, after all?). Love is finding the greatest freedom through the deepest bond. Love is humbling. Love is a choice, and it's not always the easiest choice to make.
Love is a precious gift from the One who is Love.
I see and feel love all around me. . . and most often love can be found in the simple things that I may take for granted. I feel love in my sister's hugs after we've been apart for a while. I see it in my mom's actions on a daily basis as she takes care of her girls as only she can. I feel love when my best friend shows me that she completely understands what's in my heart, the good and the bad, and she still wants to be my best friend. . . and make me chocolate chip pancakes. I'm fairly positive that love is what I see in my dog's eyes when she gazes at me. Love is in the fun and laughter of my aunts, uncles, and cousins as we "silly walk" or put on shows or just eat a meal together. Love is in a shared smile with a stranger. I feel it when someone asks how I am really doing. . . and I feel it in the hugs of my friends that I haven't seen in a while. I feel love in the prayers and encouragement of others. I see it in God's Word, and I see it in the sacrifice that He made for you and me. I see it in my relationship with Him and how He loves me more deeply than anyone else can or ever will.
I like to look for God in the big and little things. . . and looking for God IS looking for love. God is love. I am convinced that love is what this life is about.
Love is mysterious, beautiful, inspirational, vulnerable, contagious, frightening, and powerful. . . . Love reaches into the very deepest place of our being and moves us. You cannot encounter love and be unaffected.
Where do you see love in your life? When you focus on the ways you are loved rather than the ways you aren't loved, you can't help but spread the love that you feel in your heart. Your heart fills to the brim and simply overflows.
Happy Valentine's day!
"1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
~1 Corinthians 13~
(Now try rereading this passage, replacing the word "love" with "God." He is love, after all.)