I feel it in my fingers,
I feel it in my toes
The love that's all around me,
And so the feeling grows
It's written on the wind,
It's everywhere I go
So if you really love me,
Come on and let it show
So goes the opening verse of “Love is all around me” the song sung by The Troggs and Wet, Wet, Wet. Love seems to be the theme to be seen at this time of the year. No sooner were the Christmas items off the shelves than they were filled with red hearts and roses and anything that we might need to proclaim our love to or for a loved one. But is that love? What is love? Is love just a feeling? I find an excerpt from the book “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Bernieres says it well:
Love is a temporary madness,it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
But there is much more to love than the love between a couple.
A favourite Bible reading for weddings is the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 which is well known as “Love is…” It contains very practical ways and a high standard in which love is evidenced:
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
But even that passage does not describe love fully. The Bible also tells us
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
As followers of Jesus Christ, love is seen in the way we relate to one another, how we care for one another. “Let us not love just with words, but with action and in truth”. Love is not just a feeling – good as that is. Love is very often a decision, a choice – not putting ourselves first, but considering someone else. Maybe we do need to be reminded to show love to one another, and to treat others in a kind and loving way, but not just on one day in February, lovely as it is – but every day of the year. What a difference life in this world would be! Love is all around! Yes, commercially it is, but oh that true love, real love was all around, always and forever.
That would me my prayer, and I hope it would be yours, too.