As Valentine’s Day approaches, flowers, chocolates, cards and other gifts that have come to be seen as expressions of affection and love abound. There are so many ways to express one’s love for another, especially materially. However, ultimately, love is much deeper than that which can be smelled, eaten or touched. It is about what we do and in how we respond to one another.
Genuine love is priceless and often reaches farther than one might realize. It comes with meaning and depth that includes freedom to be one self, trust, truth and acceptance toward another or at the hands of another. Genuine love is not a one-way street. It flows to and from, and then over and beyond.
“To be loved, to be loved (to be loved)/ Oh what a feeling/ To be loved,” Jackie Wilson sings in the song written by Roquel Davis, Gwendolyn Gordy Fuqua, and Berry Gordy Jr. The song continues, “Some wish to be a king or a queen/ Some wish for fortune and fame/ But to be truly, truly, truly loved/ Is more than all of these things.”
There is no power greater than love. In fact, all creation springs forth from Love. In God’s love we enter this world with the capacity to both love and be loved. This genuine love is the bond that holds humanity together.
What is it then, that gets in the way? What is it that prevents love, the kind that shines bright and true, from being realized or lived out? In what ways do I contribute to, or detract from, the flow of God’s love within, around and beyond me?
While at a quick glance, money and power seem most likely culprits, at the heart of the matter, love is most often trampled upon by self-interest that exceeds or excludes care and concern for others; a primary focus on gathering, preserving, receiving or taking for oneself. When vision becomes narrow and self-centered, the ability to love and to be loved also narrows; becoming inhibited or incapacitated.
When this happens though, hope need not be lost. With real love, there is no such thing as a “point of no return.” Perhaps one of the greatest characteristics of authentic love is that its source is ever-present. Genuine love is always within reach, waiting for that moment of turning around to show us the way…softening the heart…embracing and lifting us up in communion once more.
To be loved is a blessing…to love…a gift.