There is nuthin’ to say about love that has not been said before.
To quote the wisdom of the greats:
“Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Jesus, Matthew 5
“Love recognizes no barriers.” – Maya Angelou
“All you need is love.” – The Beatles
Today, in this humble post on a sunny Valentine’s Day, I will simply say: to me, love is the reason for everything. So often we lose our way. We begrudge our jobs. We take our spouses for granted. We’re irritated by our friends. And suddenly, we find ourselves very purposeless. Perhaps my favorite quote is by one of my favorite women (Mo. T.):
“We have been created for a purpose; for great things: to love and be loved.” – Mother Teresa
And isn’t that everything? Love, essentially, is the purpose of life. It is what makes great leaders, great parents and great friends. It is what casts out fear, what heals resentment and what fills us with joy. This is because the fruit of love is service – the giving of ourselves to others. It’s funny how that works. When we view our jobs as not just a place to make money, but as a place to make friends. When we view our spouses as not just a partner, but as our first priority. When we can forgive the mean-spirited because – through the eyes of love – we see how much they are hurting inside. This is the power of love (cue Huey Lewis). This is what changes lives and gives us purpose.
Warning: I’m about to make a seemingly shallow transition here, but bare with me.
I was watching The Bachelor the other day. (I know, I know). BUT, my point is: this particular Bachelor struggles with a fear of intimacy. He struggles with allowing himself to truly love others and let himself, in turn, be fully loved. And it hit me – if love is our purpose, how purposeless it must be to be afraid to love. Especially because everything about us was created for this very reason.
I’ll end this by saying: I have no problem with the commercialization of Valentine’s Day. Many people find it to be cheap or meaningless or a Hallmark-created holiday that forces resentful men into buying $5 cards and plastic-wrapped boxes of chocolate. But as a hopeless romantic and total sap, I love any excuse to tell my husband – my kids – my friends – my family – hey, I LOVE YOU!!! (With multiple exclamation marks and everything.)
And yes, I know, I could do this everyday and I often do. But some people – in the midst of life’s chaos – do need a reminder and an excuse to hire a babysitter and take some time to connect or make a homemade card or simply say, “Have I told you lately that I love you?” And besides, with all the other non-loving stuff that our culture celebrates, I think it’s cool that everyone has love on their hearts today.
In the spirit of great love, Kate was baptized this weekend. (Don’t let her yawn fool you – she was excited).
Now this is a girl who is going to live with great purpose.