So every February there comes this heightened presence of "love". Really this "love" just consists of red and pink things all over the place, hearts, candy, flowers, and of course those little valentines that you put sooo much thought into...I mean come on writing down everyone's names from a list takes a LOT of thought and "love".
Well in honor of valentines day I want to write a little bit about love. There is something that has come up over and over again as I have moved here and faced so many new trials and challenges. And that is the importance of community and the human desire and need for love. As we have gotten involved in a church and just recently a small group we have discussed things like, why we had to be created with the freedom of choice, because love essentially is a choice, how when involved in a community or group in order to fully give and recieve love you must learn to be vulnerable with each other. Then my roomie and I started a book that is all about our soul's desire for love. (if you are looking for a great book, read Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus.)
So love let me begin with a few quotes that have stuck out to me....
"How can it be that in the postinformation age, in the era of the technological revolution, we still need something as primitive as love? No matter how many times we fail at love or how many times love fails us, we plow ahead. Even the scars of love rarely stop us from risking at love. Strange as it seems, in the midst of our most painful memories, we find our most treasured ones."
"When love does not come to you, it breaks your heart, but when you do not give love away, it hardens your heart. One thing stranger than our need to be loved is our need to love, which again leads me to my conspiracy theory: We are designed for love."
Now this does not just apply to romantic love, and falling in love with someone but it fully applies to all your relationships. One of my biggest adjustments after graduating college has been coming home to an empty apartment. In college I was an RA/SHC which really meant that unless I was sleeping (and even then sometimes too) I had people in my room or apartment. There were constantly people around. Now we weren't always having deep challenging conversations, in most cases we were procrastinating, making late night snacks and taking a "break" to watch a movie. But there were people there, sitting by your side, you had companionship. Now flash forward to now, my roomie and I are now working opposite shifts and I have yet to meet any friends my age who aren't married with kids (no offense to those who are, I love you all). So I spend my day playing with my sweet kids I nanny, sometimes heading to the pump it up bounce house or the science center (only to be surrounded by highly caffeinated moms holding their starbucks cups, chatting about who's child is progressing faster or what type of formula they use) and then I head home and walk into an empty apartment. Most evenings I find myself lasting only about 30 minutes before I have to head to target, go to the gym or head to a coffee shop. Not because I am meeting anyone there and not cause I'm going to have a conversation with anyone there, but because there are just people there, there is a human presence and you feel like a part of something.
We need love. We need to give love. We desire love. we thrive when we are in community.
Although I am still working on the relationship thing here I have been given a view of something very unique here that I have not seen anywhere else that I have lived.
People are so aware of what is going on in the world and what hurt is happening...you can't even go to the grocery store without over-hearing a conversation or seeing an adorable family with all their adopted little kids. There are constantly benefit concerts, fundraisers, organizations raising money....and let me tell you, you go to one of those benefit concerts, orphan sunday or a fundraiser dinner here...it does not matter that you are sitting next to a billionaire...there is such a longing in everyones eyes to serve, to look outside their own world. People here know what mission means. And I have been taught so much by just getting to stand back and watch.
I also wanted to add (without making this post too much longer....you are probably being lulled to sleep by now)....I have been following this amazing woman's blog for a long time now and not only is she just honest, funny and an amazing photographer...she has a heart to make a difference and show love in a way that is so often overlooked in our society. Her and a friend started this blog. Its simple. They post a picture, just a simple candid picture of a woman. And your job as a viewer is to comment on her beauty...with specifics. Have you ever had someone come up to you in the grocery store and compliment you? well I never had until just the other day. I was rushing through trying to grab something real quick and feeling pretty frazzeled when this sweet lady in her sweet southern voice says "darling, that is the cutest outfit I have ever seen! how did you think to even put that together?" now hopefully she was not being sarcastic...but that compliment not only caught me completely off guard but lifted my spirits so high. We desire acceptance and love. This blog is doing a wonderful job of starting at the basics. :)
Good night sweet friends...and know that I love you....