My husband brought home some lovely red tulips for me last night as an early Valentine's gift. And on Sunday, I received a yellow candy heart from my 5-year-old friend Emma with a special "love" message on it that says: "Whiz Kid." It's still in my jacket pocket so everytime my hand touches it, I can be reminded of the simple giving heart of a child (and that I'm a genius, hee hee).
However, today I'm reminded of an even greater Love than that which can be symbolized by a heart-shaped candy or a stuffed teddy bear that's sold on the aisles of Walgreens, Target, and Walmart once a year. It's greater than bouquets of exotic roses from Central Market and yes, even Emeril's Espresso-Hazelnut Cheesecake with Orange Caramel Sauce (Lord, have mercy...).
This is the kind of Love that carries us even during seasons in our lives when we're not acknowledging the One whose arms are around us, a Love that chases after us when we don't show an ounce of love in return, a Love that waits patiently, drawing us, until we finally turn our faces in its direction with no other distraction.
"I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with gentle cords,
With bands of love.
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.
I stooped and fed them."
~ Hosea 11:3-4
“I will betroth you to Me forever,
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.”
~ Hosea 2:19-20
THIS, my friends, is true love. And may we remember it long past today.