I’ve been thinking a lot about love…being that it’s Valentine’s and all. I know there are a lot of V-day haters out there, but I, for one, am not one of them. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I’ve been this way ever since I was a little girl reading novels alone in our woods…and all the way through to adulthood, getting swept up by real life stories of romance. I’m sure some of you out there reading have given up on love. You’ve been thwarted in love. You’ve seen love abused or manipulated. You’ve been hurt and your love has been tested. Maybe you don’t even believe in the idea of it anymore.
But I do. Through and through. And I think that love is a beautiful thing.
I can’t seem to shake the idea that it ought to be celebrated. That love is worth mentioning…and giving…and fighting for. That there is more to love than meets the eye and more to the eye the longer we live.
My perspective on love has changed since the innocence of girlhood, reading Bronte classics. I think I got older. I think I lived a little more and learned some hard lessons. I think I became more grounded and maybe a little hardened. And the more I’ve lived adulthood, the more I’ve struggled with love intertwining with the webs of girlhood dreams.
Because the truth is? Love is a messy journey.
Love blossoms and withers and grows back again. It is never as clear cut as “follow your heart.” It can’t always begin and end like a romantic song. It’s not always natural. And the hardest part about love, I think, is that it comes in unlikely places. It doesn’t always appear in bouquets and champagne, diamonds and honeymoons, expensive gifts and romantic dates.
No. Love is in brokenness too. In unexpected places. In seemingly unromantic and thorn-ridden roses. And despite our increasingly marketed culture where love is disguised in shallow ads, cheesy cards, mutual interests and honeymoons, there is real love.
And I’ve seen it.
The love I’ve seen is…
…in the sacrifices of a mother, when she peels out of bed in the middle of the night to comfort her baby.
…in the arm offered by a husband to his wife in the doctor’s office.
…in the prayers and comments on facebook for a dear little girl still in a coma from a drowning accident…almost a year ago.
…in fathers who’ve left in the wee mornings hours to work hard for their families.
…in our service men and women who trade their comforts and security to protect our borders.
…in wildflowers picked from a field.
…in a church family as they gather round a grieving family, who has just lost a loved one to suicide.
…in cut pieces of paper offered as gifts by a child.
…in handmade meals for people in the wake of surgeries, or births, or deaths.
…in a newborn baby as he sighs and nestles in close to his mum.
I’ve seen love in the perfect stranger who pays for someone’s Starbucks drink.
Love written on graffiti and penned on bathroom stalls.
…in a mother’s tears as she says goodbye to her baby, taken before it’s fully grown.
…in the volunteer who is tirelessly trying to put forth some good into the world.
Love in a puppy’s eyes when he’s reunited with his master.
…in the sister who stands up for family in a moment of public ridicule.
…in a teenage girl who gives her baby up for a better life.
…behind nursing home walls with minds that are lost and bodies failing.
…in the friend who offers time and time again to pray and intercede on your behalf.
…in the mother bird who protectively watches over her young in her nest.
The faithful husband with an unfaithful wife.
The faithful wife with an unfaithful husband.
Love in a doctor’s hands as he cares for a sick child…completely free of charge.
…in the mum who day-in and day-out changes diapers and wipes snotty noses…for no monetary gain.
…in an artist who pens her name on the canvas of her masterpiece.
…in the person who’s been wronged, but freely and graciously forgives.
…in the humility of a sinner.
…in the blood-stained garments of the Savior on a tree.
And I think that kind of love is worth fighting for. Worth believing in. Worth battling the war of selfishness and selflessness. Worth loving tirelessly, receiving nothing in return. The fight to seek what is good, and pure, and lovely…
That’s the kind of love I believe in….the kind of love that can blend with girlhood dreams. Love that I can fight for. That doesn’t ever die. No matter how much we taint it and mar the picture, God is the originator, the sustainer, the ultimate love that breathed its’ last human breath. For us.
In an unlikely place.
Linking up here: Storytellers at Pencilled Daydream.
| Share Article | Permalink