That most tender of emotions . . .
Love. Oh me, and while love runs rampant daily, at Valentine’s Day, it’s more so, for all ages from childhood, to neighbors to just acquaintances, it’s the main subject of conversation, behind every marriage, and its lack behind every divorce.
All for Love? So what is love? It’s 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 T.L.C. recommended for children. So important that every infant in any hospital is actually scheduled to be tenderly held, fondled and played with. And this in addition to the routine times the child is also scheduled to be fed, bathed and otherwise attended. It’s also the reason that some ‘qualified’ visitor is asked if they have time to hold and caress infants whose parents are unable to make frequent visits. I was once so honored and asked to be such a one, and it was well worth the time and satisfaction I felt.
Love is the magic that changes homes for the aged from dull, lifeless places where, so often, men and women sit silently and dully in empty rooms, waiting for their lives to pass. Yes, love 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 from earliest times until now, have recognized its strength and made rules and provisions for it. Oddly, too, the more ‘un-modern’ the culture, the better their overall concept of love has been.
Only in modern America has love often become almost solely synonymous with sex. Other environments recognize and explore the other aspects as well, such as, the mother playing with her children, the grandparent caressing the infant, listening to the older child’s woes, or giving cautious monetary aid to the college student who is always short of cash. Are these not also love?
Yes, and there’s the often forgotten taken-for-granted, love of the parish priest or local bishop for their flock. Only those close by 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 actually 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 yet . . .
It is both food and drink for BOTH body and 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 prescribe for his patients.
Love. That most tender of emotions. With it, life and the world is a happy place to be. Without it, life loses its savor, its ability to revitalize itself. and people die. Yes, that’s how vital love is.
It is now Valentine’s day. Give all the love you can, and of all varieties you can find. See, I’m not knocking Eros one bit, but take time to remember there is Romantic love, Mother/Father love, Brotherly love, and, really and finally, the strongest and most far reaching of all . . . . Agape. Spiritual love, from as far back as The Garden of Eden, until, yesterday, today, and on and on, as long as God lives, Love will also live. Even, if you can imagine, on Valentine’s Day.