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The thing about Love

D'jango is scootin' to school on his own little bike - helmet and all
photo taken by Rachel Orlins Bergman

February is just about over and some of us may be grateful that it is only 28 days long (most of the time). With the crazy weather we have had all across the country and the political shenanigans we've seen in both parties, we are ready for some March Winds to come and blow through with a mighty force and clear the air, so to speak. We are pretty tired of all that is happening.... and we are not "lovin' it."

We may have started off the month with hearts and flowers on our minds, but somehow the soft and sweet messages of Valentine's Day don't hang around all that long.

We use the word "love" so loosely that its meaning has been tarnished and lost. The thing about Love is that it truly is never lost, nor is it diminished. It grows with the sharing and sparks something in the giver as well as the receiver that has an energy all its own.

Even when we love inanimate objects - such as books or cars, we see a transformation happen in our thinking as we hold a book and smell its pages - or run our hands lightly over the steering wheel or dash of our automobiles. These take on character from our loving them, they speak to our hearts in a shared but personal language.

OK - maybe you never owned a car or a book that you simply could not share with anyone else. ... never let anyone else drive her... or knew you couldn't lend him to anyone who could fully appreciate the perfect depth involved. But there might have been a pet you had ... one who would listen to all your sad stories and snuggle up in comfort. The unconditional love that was always there for you will have been the beginnings of your learning what love feels like.

Romantic love can be exciting and scary when you feel your emotions take control of your senses, leaping far past where your mind was involved. And when you are blessed with a depth of loving another person and sharing all the ups and downs of a relationship, romantic love changes again to a cool and steady flowing.

Parents and children share another kind of love that (if we are lucky) is nurturing, encouraging and inspiring. We learn from each other a type of love that is there no matter what. It is powerful as well as unconditional, yet tinged with the dynamics of discipline. Did you ever get punished for something and have a parent tell you, "I'm doing this because I love you."...? Yeah, I still don't like that, either - but I do somehow understand it.

There are friendships that are truly loving. They forgive each other for the foibles that may occur, because they know each other so well it doesn't damage their feelings toward one another. And then there is the Love that God has for you, His beloved child.

It is unconditional, yes. It is nurturing and encouraging, yes. It is forgiving and empowering, yes. And it is eternal. It is there for you no matter who you are or what you do - or even if you are not aware of it and don't return it. God loves you no matter what. It is a love that cannot be measured, weighed or contained in any container.

But if you do recognize it and return it, it grows. It sparkles within your very being and enlightens your view of the world in which you find yourself. You find yourself so full of this love that continues to grow and glow that you simply must share it. Your being glows with this love so that even when you are not aware of it, ripples and rainbows, sun rays and sunbeams shoot out from you to touch others. Have you seen a happy child recently who was moving down the sidewalk in a rhythm all his own... and have you caught yourself smiling?

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