LOUISE: Finding True Love
Valentine’s Day is all about love and romance. It’s red roses, heart-shaped boxes of candy and surprise marriage proposals. It’s the stuff that books and movies are made of. Recently, I watched a movie where a young woman was talking with an older gentleman who had been widowed after a lifetime of marriage. “You found your one true love,” she stated. I love the man’s response. “I know that now,” he said. “But it wasn’t always so clear. Loving someone is the hardest work there is. We messed up plenty…disappointed each other…but never let that keep us apart. It wasn’t true love because it was easy. It was because we worked at it. We fought for it.”
Now that’s love! The kind of love that lasts “till death do us part,” as stated in most wedding vows. And isn’t it interesting that God set the precedent for this kind of love with the forgiving, merciful, selfless love of his son, Jesus Christ, knowing that “true love” would require the same kind of sacrifice. Otherwise, how could marriage possibly last?
God knew how much we would need not only His love, but also that of a partner in life. Someone to hold us when this broken world in which we live falls apart and shatters our spirits. Times when we need the arms of human flesh to surround us as we hold on to the Divine and even the not so divine mate with whom we share a life. A life that can become mundane if we are not careful.
Love. It makes us feel safe, secure and silly with delight. It’s champagne bubbles bursting into giggles in young, starry-eyed romance. It’s mulled wine as you sit beside a crackling fire with that special spouse who has shared your life for 30, 40, 50 years. It’s a cup of coffee and toast served in bed or a glass of orange juice on the run from the hand that poured or even fresh-squeezed that golden liquid. It’s a malt and a burger as the two of you catch a quick lunch together when you suddenly find a small sliver of time to meet and de-stress. It’s the arm around you when no one is looking and the sweetness of knowing you belong to each other.
Real love doesn’t come with a Webster definition. It’s a verb—an action word—as well as a noun. And this kind of love…well, it never dies. It doesn’t even grow old. It simply…grows. It stretches. It covers a multitude of hurts in our lives that were never supposed to happen—but did. True love takes us to worlds beyond anything we ever imagined. It trudges through the ordinary and soars through the extraordinary. It tiptoes quietly into hospital rooms and sits silently in cemeteries when that forever love leaves this earth for heaven, carried on angel’s wings. Love is the fragrance of the flowers that celebrate engagements, weddings and anniversaries. It’s the softness of a newborn and the wrinkled face of the aged. Love lasts. Love holds. Love lifts.
If you read the Bible, you know that one of the names of God is “I Am,” meaning He was, He is and will be forever. Past. Present. Future. Love is like that. If you somehow fall “out of love” then it didn’t come from the Creator of love or His gift was treated shabbily. True love is precious, like a pearl in an oyster, waiting to be opened and cherished. And if you treat love the way God intended, then you will have a treasure to hold in your heart forever.
Happy Valentine’s Day!