There is all kinds of love out there. There is love for a friend, love for a pet, love for a family member, and love for a spouse. It comes in all different flavors and can be hard to explain. Some people say they love someone but have a funny way of showing it. Some people say one thing with their mouths but something completely different with their actions. Some people think they are actually in love, yet are really just infatuated. Some truly believe they are in love or love someone, yet what they call love would probably not stand the test of time.
Here’s a quick story about love. I challenge you to think about someone who you believe you truly love and then read this story. When you’re done reading it, I have a question for you…
Story: What Love Is All About
It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 am, when an elderly gentleman, in his 80s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He stated that he was in a hurry and that he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs, and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.
On exam it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redressed his wound. While taking care of him, we began to engage in conversation. I asked him if he had a doctor’s appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for awhile and was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.
As we talked and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, and hadn’t recognized him in five years. I was surprised, and asked him, “And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?” He smiled and patted my hand and said, “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.”
Now that you’ve read this story, I ask, “Do you love the person enough to be there for five years, even if they don’t even know you?” That’s a tough ask. I know the gut feeling and answer is probably, “Of course.” But the reality is that many people “love” someone for the things they do for them and what they get from the relationship. Now imagine the person you “love” the most is in the hospital and doesn’t know who you are. Would you be there every morning for five years?
My goal of this post is not to debunk what love is, or try to disprove your love. I challenge you to understand what true love is. Love can be complex, yet it was explained many, many years ago in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 13:1…
Love is patient, love 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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
No, I’m no “Love Doctor”, therapist, or saint. And I’m far from perfect, failing to show my love as best I could at times. But I do my best to show my love today as much as possible. Are you doing your best? Are you showing your love?