By Amy Lewis
View from the Pew
This February, I want to talk about Love with a capital "L."
Valentine's Day has passed, and so I think it's safe to say the "L" word again.
Just before Feb. 14, I decided to go to my best resource of knowledge on this subject - my 5-year old daughter. I figured if anyone knew best what love is all about, it's a child.
As Jesus once said in Matthew 19:14, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
So, one morning I asked my kid the everlasting question, "What is love?"
Her response reminded me of the Art Linkletter days, when Art would ask honest questions of kids, and get honest responses "out of the mouths of babes."
She reported that, "Love is when your heart goes into your tummy and stays there for 100 days." So according to her, love takes approximately 14 weeks to grow.
I found that interesting because she didn't say that it takes 14 weeks to "fall in love," she said that love is grown in 14 weeks. The Bible states very clearly in Genesis that God grew the world in seven days, but the impetus was love.
There has been quite a bit of talk about love, along with its propriety and improprieties, according to the world lately in the wake of the Sochi Olympics.
On one end of the spectrum, there are those, who believe that love can be defined as a commitment to the well-being of another person, and those who base love on more physical properties, creating strict confines in the definition of what is love.
According to the Webster Dictionary, love's No. 1 definition is "a feeling of strong or constant regard for and dedication to someone." No. 4 is, "positive regard for something."
This means when you say you love someone or something, you regard that creature or thing as being worthy of your care. That creature or thing becomes the object of, not only your affection, but also of your care. You care about the well-being of this creature or thing.
Many of us say that we love chocolate, but do we really love chocolate? Do we care about the well-being and future of chocolate enough to intervene if anything threatens our object of love?
What if we loved everyone and everything as our God loves us? God loves us fresh and new and worn and old; God loves us sinning and in mercy. God loves us as we love our own children, caring for our well-being enough to give us the tools we need to survive and protect the well-being of one another. God loves us so much that we are given chocolate! And of course, God so loved the world that we were given the ultimate sacrifice - a holy being brought to the world in human flesh, love incarnate.
But, what did we do with this gift? People destroyed and discarded Jesus' gifts out of ignorance and greed.
Let us learn the lessons of our past and love one another and creation, really Love - care for the well-being of each other and the world around us. Let's all try to show and be love for 14 weeks and see if it makes a difference in our daily lives. After all, Jesus could live with 40 years of oppression for exemplifying and showing love to the unloved and seemingly unworthy, and he changed the world.
How hard could it be for us mere mortals to try it for 14 weeks? Who knows, we may create a ripple just as big as our Lord's. We just may change the world - with love.
Amy Lewis lives with her husband and daughter in Palm Bay and is a longtime member of Riviera United Church of Christ.