I’m not even going to think about bad, sad, or ugly L words. It is the beginning of the Holiday season. Thanksgiving is just eleven days away. Then everything turns to Christmas. I love this time of year. As I write this, I’m watching the Hallmark channel. They have already started their Christmas movies. Right now, “Fallen Angel” is on. How can I write and watch at the same time? Easy, I’ve seen it before, probably four or five times, but I never get tired of it.
My life is far from perfect, and I don’t know anyone whose life is perfect. From a distance, from afar, a family might just look like the most perfect family ever. They love God, they love each other. They are beautiful, successful, they seem to have it all. But on closer examination, they have their downfalls, their hurts, their disappointments.
Life, my first L word, it’s not perfect but it is wonderful when we make the best of what we have. When we are happy with our life, then our life is happy.
Laughter, my second L word. Where would we be without laughter? So wonderful to belly-laugh, so wonderful to laugh so hard your face hurts, and you feel like you can hardly breathe! I can so easily remember my daddy’s laugh, he got it from his mother. I got it from him, my son got it from me. I call it our doggie-daddy laugh. It’s after the big loud laughter dies down and your still left with a heeeeeeeeeee heeeeeeeeeee heeeeeeeeeee from so deep down it seems to come from your toes.
Have you ever noticed that you rarely laugh out loud when you’re alone? I can watch the funniest show ever on TV, but if I’m watching it alone, I might be chuckling inside, but it rarely comes out, but put me in a room with people I love and I will be hee-hawing. I think laughter is something that has to be shared before you can truly enjoy it.
My third L word, the greatest word of all, Love. One word is not enough to describe what love means. Recently, I learned their are other words for love. They are Greek and they are from the Bible. I was so happy to learn these new words.
First, is Eros, the kind of love that is sensual, romantic, passionate. It makes our heart beat fast. It is a love that we all want to experience, but it is conditional. It can die and when it does, our hearts can be broken.
Second, is Philia. That means brotherly love, a bond, a friendship, familial, comfortable. Your heart doesn’t beat fast with this kind of love, it beats warm. But even this kind of love can be fleeting and it can also be selfish. We can have a loved one who is sick and hurting, and we know they are going to die and leave us, but we want them to stay with us because we will miss them when they are gone. We know they will be better off, but our own selfishness wants to keep them here. After all, we are only human.
And then there is Agape’. When I first saw this word written, I read it as “agape” and I pictured someone standing with their mouth hanging open. It is pronouced ah-goh-pay. It is the way God
loves us. It is unconditional. It requires nothing in return.
This Love is patient, it is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Loving the Lord with all your heart and soul transcends the physical nature of Eros, or the fleeting nature of philia.
As God loves us, so should we love one another. It is a pure love with an unselfish spirit. Agape’ doesn’t come and go. It is consistent with all people. It provides dignity, respect and compassion. It’s what God asks of us. So smile at that stranger you pass, acknowledge a sad or lonely looking person. Try to love someone who is unloveable. Expect nothing in return. This is Agape’. This is Love, the greatest gift of all.