Extravagant Love

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Today when I went to visit my mom, the receptionist at her assisted living facility wished me “Happy Valentine’s Day”. I wished her the same and she commented “We should get rid of all these holidays. There should only be Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.” I was about to comment when another woman commented “And 4th of July. We need to celebrate 4th of July because that means it is summer.” I am thinking okay but 4th of July is important because it is the birth of our nation not because it is summer. The receptionist then states ” All these holidays – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day are just made up. It isn’t fair to people who don’t have a spouse or parents or…” For a moment I was going to tell her the history of Valentine’s Day and then realized that isn’t what she needed to hear. From past conversations, I know the receptionist is a widow (and she knows I am) so instead I said “It is difficult when you walk in stores around Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day and see all the cards you don’t need to buy. I think they should have a selection of cards entitled “this stinks!!”. She smiled 🙂

Today is the two month anniversary of the Newtown shootings. It is strange but on Dec 14 when it happened I thought oh no the two month anniversary will be on Valentine’s Day. How sad. My prayer for those families has been that they will not doubt that their children knew they were loved and that they will know they are loved by their Heavenly Father.

“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end…We don’t yet see things clearly. We are squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he know us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is Love.”

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