Love lifts us up

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

This is dedicated ... to love. I love love. I like being in love, feeling loved, and if I had a motto, it would be "Big hug, world!" I drive my more restrained friends a bit crazy; gender, age, I don't discriminate. I believe in love at first sight and enjoy any couple's story about how they met, what obstacles they overcame on the road to togetherness, the hard years and the sweet moments when being partners helped them through tough situations.

But what about those who are single? Are candlelight suppers, flowers, and romance the only route to feeling special? A contemporary songwriter, Mindy Jostyn, wrote a song called "In His Eyes." The song's words express a love that goes beyond human romance and sentimentality to realize the depth of love God has for each one of us. The song describes each of us as His symphony, His poetry, His special one, "in His eyes."

I cry when I hear that song - not because I am not loved by my spouse and family, but because of the times I've felt beaten down and alone, unworthy of love. I've learned to listen to people who have been through similar valleys of life - people who have a deeper appreciation of love because they have met and mastered moments that were not all wonderful and perfect.

A writer whom I often turn to, Mary Baker Eddy, endured many setbacks in her life, including widowhood, divorce, and the loss of her opportunity to raise her child. In her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," she described "valley" as it's used in the Bible as: "Depression; meekness; darkness" (page 596).

In a chapter of Science and Health dedicated to marriage, she began her discussion with this statement: "The wintry blasts of earth may uproot the flowers of affection, and scatter them to the winds; but this severance of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for heaven" (page 57).

When I fall into mental valleys, no human voice can lift me out. I need to rise in my expectations, not limit them to one particular person or form of love. I turn to God for a love that reaches me through the pain of some of the challenges this journey presents.

You often can tell when a person has met with difficult times. A dear friend had lost her 18-year-old son in a car accident and rarely spoke of him. Years later, as a widow who lived alone, she ate a meal each day at one or two local restaurants. I always went to one of her "regular" places to dine when I visited. In each place there would be one or two waiters or waitresses with whom she obviously shared a special friendship. They were all about 18 to 20 years old. She knew their names, and they knew hers. In the few moments they had between serving customers, they would share their news with her. My friend always received a loving hug and never seemed to lack recipients for her caring concern. She had moved beyond loneliness to expand her mothering, and was not left without an opportunity to express it.

The proof that we can each rely on God's divine plan becomes clear as we witness this unfolding in our lives and in the lives of others.

On a day dedicated to feeling loved, we can all go forth complete, not waiting to fall or rise in love, not waiting for someone else to enjoy our special gifts. "In His eyes" we are all right now receiving the sweetest, deepest love we will ever know. The love of a God whose name is Love - the love of Love.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

I John 3:1-3

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