The Greatest of These is Love

I am no one special, just a common man with common thoughts.  I’ve led a common life.  There are  no monuments dedicated to me, and my name will soon be forgotten.  But in one respect, I’ve succeeded as gloriously as anyone who ever lived.  I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and for me, that has always been enough.”  Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day.  I love celebrating love – a hopeless romantic, maybe – addicted to little chocolate hearts, possibly – but what’s wrong with loving love?  I have read too many humbug articles on the topic this time of year…it’s not that I haven’t had my heart broken, love lost, a disgruntled prince with no white horse, and I’m completely aware that love “isn’t butterflies in the stomach”.  My faith in love remains strong.  Butterflies or no butterflies, love is a beautiful thing – agape, puppy, mature, a mother’s, twitterpated, making of, etc…it’s all LOVE , worthy of a celebration complete with heart-shaped candies bearing messages of the many types of love…and I love it!

The greatest thing about love – it’s an innate gift – it lives inside of us and we can, and should, give it freely to others.  Appropriate to the relationship and situation, love can do amazing, life changing things.  A hug, a kiss, a pat on the back, a helping hand, a kind smile, a word of encouragement, a  favor, a simple note, a special gift, a promise, a prayer…there are thousands of ways we can love someone else, and the most remarkable thing about love is that the heart can not give love without receiving the beautifully divine consequences of unselfishly loving another.

So what is true love?

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.     1 Corinthians 13:4-8

That is the love I believe in – a love given to us regardless of the many ways we fall short.  I can only hope to find the courage to love as I have been loved, a strength within that is in need of constant renewal but that which hopes, trusts and believes in all things…the greatest of these being love.

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