Happy Valentine’s Day!
It is a bit belated, but my sentiment is genuine – to all those I love, I wish you a moment knowing that you are loved. My Valentine’s sentiment is more than that of a conversational heart (“Be Mine” and “TXT Me” are too trite) and more than that of a greeting card (even the schmaltzy $6 varieties). My sentiment cannot be contained in a box of chocolates or described by a floral arrangement. (For the record, I DID purchase a $6 card and a nice assortment of milk and dark chocolates for my sweetheart). My sentiment is the handmade and heartfelt variety, a heart cut out of red construction paper with a crayon colored verse – I LOVE YOU.
Punctuation on our Valentine’s Day expressions is crucial. Some of us experience ‘comma’ love (“I love you, but…” or “I love you, until….”). “Comma” love is nice, but not fully satisfying; it is qualified. Some of us experience ‘colon’ love (“I love you: you are….”). “Colon” love is also nice, but necessarily defined by what comes after the dots; it is conditional. Some of us experience ‘period’ love (“I love you.”) “Period” love is the ultimate expression; it is unqualified and unconditional.
“Period” love is the love of the Bible. God loves us with unqualified and unconditional love. Jesus commands his followers to love one another unqualified and unconditional love. In their letters John and Paul remind the church that real love is unqualified and unconditional love. “Period” love is what makes us different. Wouldn’t be nice if we loved without qualification and eliminated the ‘ifs, and or buts’ from our conversations? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we loved without condition and we eliminated the ‘just, could and should” from our romantic affections?
Try it. Tell someone today, “I love you.” JUST say those three words – nothing else. And accept it. If someone shouts or whispers those three words to you, and just those three words, believe it without condition or qualification. Finally, if you don’t hear those three words today, allow me to give you three words, and only three words – unconditioned and unqualified – GOD LOVES YOU.