The Eskimo has fifty-two names for snow because it is important to them; there ought to be as many for love. --Margaret Atwood
Trying to achieve a balanced life often gets tipped by the scales of love. We wake up with a set of goals for the day, a list of tasks which must be accomplished and a timeline to do them in. We rush around showering and multi-tasking in our heads the duties of the day, making mental lists and reminders for ourselves of the multitude of must do's like "get hamburger out for dinner, put in a load of laundry before work, pay gas bill, call dentist on lunch, clean bathroooms tonight, get dogfood." We plan and manipulate our time to the skin of our teeth, seldom leaving time for pee breaks, let alone time for ourselves. Once in a blue moon, in a moment of clarity, we rearrange our lives for some much needed down time, to chillax, to bounce to nowhere. We close our eyes and dream. Ah, the peace of it.
Then we wake up, and start our day. But the funny thing about schedules, is that they can always be changed for the things and people we love. At the end of the day, when it's all said and done, love and family come first. We can blow off work when we need to for a sick child, we can trek to the hospital daily for a seriously ill parent, we can rush to help a friend who's life has fallen apart. We fit it in. The schedule, written in air anyway, is erased and replaced. We place the importance on showing the love when the emergencies arise. We give the hugs and say "I love you, it will be okay."
But the deepest love happens without the words. Yes, it comes in the morning kisses and "how was your sleepy hugs," but it's also in the care packages we send to our children away at college or at sea for 6 months. It's in the endless meals of ramien noodles and macaroni and cheese . It's in the picking up of dirty laundry and cleaning of kitchens. It's in the endless hours of car pooling. It's in the sending of ads for jobs to friends who had a miserable day at work . It's in the inspirational emails you send to say 'you're really good at this, keep going." It's in the errands we run and the pizza we bring in case you are hungry. It's in the pats on the back at work to sad friends as well as in the happy smiles of our children when they have a good day or make a new joke we don't quite get. It's in the mundane details like buying apples for lunches, or keeping toilet paper on hand.
The love happens outside of the word and deeds we call love. It's in all the other things we do and say for our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and even strangers, everyday. It's in the kindness. It's in the smiles. It's in the laughter. Sometimes we are too tired to remember this and even see that it is there in our minds and our behaviors. God shows us how to share it and spread it and make it multiply so that it fills our lives. We just need to slow down and feel the Wow of it. We need to see God's love in the minutia and in ourselves.
Maybe we don't need 52 words for love. We need only open our eyes and feel it.
Show your love today on Valentine's day, not only to your families, but to the strangers and helpers that fill our lives everyday. Make a random act of kindness. Smile. Laugh. Give someone the good parking space. Let them ahead of you at the checkout. Shovel the neighbor's sidewalk. Pay the toll ahead of you. Leave a gift certificate for a co-worker in need. Make the coffee when it's empty. Clean up even though it's not your mess. Scrape the snow off someone's car. Take the time to thank someone who really just simply does a good job.
Put it out there and get it back ten fold. Let God's love grow in you today.