Valentine’s Day. The day made for Love.
Love. . . . Men have died for it. Women have lied for it. Billions sigh for it and countless songs, stories and poems have been written about it. Greece fought a war because of it.
All for love? Love? So what is love? It is not food for the hungry or drink for the thirsty. It will not knit the broken bone or give rest to the overworked. It isn’t a drug for the suffering…and yet . . .today, right now, there are people giving up their hold on life and slowly dying for the lack of it.
Love is the TLC recommended for children. So important for their welfare that every child in any hospital is scheduled to be regularly held, fondled and tenderly played with. And this, in addition to the times the child must also be fed, bathed and cared for.
It is the magic that changes homes for the aged from dull, lifeless places where men and women sit silently and dully in empty rooms waiting for their lives to pass/ Yes, changes them into homes (no more affluent) of quiet activity, alert eyes, contentment and days that are lived, not just endured.
Love. Every civilization, culture, people or tribe of natives from earliest times until now have recognized its strength and made rules and provisions for it. Oddly enough, it’s been noted that the more “primitive” the culture, the better their over-all concept of love has been.
Only in modern America has love become, to many, almost synonymous and limited to sex. Other environments recognize and explore the other aspect of tenderness as well. The mother playing with her children. A Grandparent caressing the infant, listening to the school child’s woes, or giving cautious monetary aid to the college student who is always short of cash. Are these not also love? Of course they are.
And what about the youngster or neighbor who makes an hour or two brighter for some shut-in by visiting or reading to them? Duty you say? Perhaps, but it is love that makes it all worthwhile.
Yes, and there’s the often forgotten, taken-for-granted, love of the parish priest or local bishop for his flock. Only those nearby could know of the countless hours that are cheerfully, thankfully given. Hours whose very numbers make the task seem impossible. And it would be, too, if it weren’t for love.
No, love is not food for the hungry or drink for the thirsty. It cannot be put under a microscope, analyzed and then prescribed for a broken body or diseased mind. But still,
It is both food and drink for the soul. It is rest for the overburdened and new energy to the sorrowing, the bored and the listless. It has given more peace than all the tranquilizers ever made, and brought a shine and glow to tired eyes and faces. It is the magic medicine that every doctor in the world wishes he could patent, bottle and prescribed for his patients.
Love. That most tender of emotions. With it, life and the world is a happy place to be. Without it, something within us withers and dies. Without it life loses its savor, its ability to revitalize itself. That’s how vital love is.
So, it will soon be Valentine’s day. Give all the love you can, of all varieties. I’m not knocking Eros one bit, for I know its joy, but never forget Agape and its wide, deep, and all encompassing scope. We need all we can receive or give, and not limited to one day of the year, either.