Monday, February 14, 2011
"You keep on using that word...I do not think it means what you think it means."
Inigo was referring to Vizzini's affection for "inconceivable" but his sentiment can easily apply to the word of the day: Love.
It's Valentine's Day! My fantastic mother in law came over yesterday and watched the kids while my husband and I went out to lunch, just the two of us. (She also cleaned all the bathrooms because she's FANTASTIC.) The kids are really excited about handing out their valentines to their classmates. Geneva hand-decorated 21 pink hearts with princess stickers, glitter, puffy hamster stickers and her name. My son opted for a box of Star Wars Clone Wars hologram valentines with a Reeses' peanut butter heart taped to the front. My mom sent us all our own cards; a lively montage of bears, hearts and flowers and heart-felt sentiments written inside.
Love is in the air!
But as beautiful as this day is, and as important the little gestures and acts of service and time spent together are, it's not really what love looks like. Love CAN look like Valentine's Day, and certainly those in love do all those things, but love, "twoo wuv" often doesn't look the way we expect it to.
I think this is part of the reason why the divorce rate is so high. We all have such unrealistic expectations for what marriage is going to be, and we tend to think of love as a feeling when, in reality, love is a lifestyle -- a way of relating to someone else. There are times (thankfully not too many) when my marriage demands that I love when I don't want to love, when my entire being is screaming for freedom. There aren't many Hallmark cards for those situations.
True love is the hardest thing in the world because people are human...flawed. It's easy to love a sweet, innocent little baby, and incredibly difficult to love someone who has hurt you. But love doesn't just mean the warm feeling you get when you watch your kids sleeping. Love also means inviting your estranged uncle over for Thanksgiving and dealing with the tension and awkwardness that will result.
So many people missed Love when it was in their midst, walking among them, talking and healing and preaching, because they didn't understand what love really meant. I want love to be the happy-go-lucky warmth society promises me. I want my happily ever after. But that's not true love.
I know this day is actually very difficult for many people, especially those who have lost their loved ones or who have been through painful relationships. I am blessed to be surrounded by love, but others are lonely or brokenhearted. On this beautiful day dedicated to love, I think the most amazing thing to consider is that each of us has access to True Love in its most perfect form. All we have to do is open our hearts and receive Him.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!