I love pizza.
I love Saturday morning breakfast.
I love the full moon.
I love swimming at twilight.
I love my kitten.
I love my husband.
I love hearing the still small Voice.
One word and so many different meanings. Love is a word that can be cheapened and tossed around glibly. I don't love pizza like I love my husband.
So when I say, "I love you," what does that mean? Love you like pizza?
Sometimes our words don't mean much. I'm not posting to criticize our words. But it's easy to clap a friend on the back and say, "Love ya," and go on our way.
Check out 1 John 3:18. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
(Irony: My next book proposal is based on verses 19 and 20, but that's for another post.)
We can say I love you by what we do. The people in our lives, I've discovered, pass through so quickly sometimes. The younger we are, we think that our current situation will last forever. But then you wake up one day, and months or even years have passed. And so people move along as well. Either they leave this life, or leave our lives and move away, or people get too busy and grow apart.
I think back to the times I've told a friend I loved them, or assumed they "just knew." Lately I've realized how it's more important to do simple acts of love, those unexpected little things that will show someone that I love them. Not just telling them "love ya," or figuring they already understood that.
What would mean something special to someone you love? A card or letter? An afternoon together? A cup of coffee, made just the way they like it? A verse you read, that you know they'd appreciate? A listening ear?
Deliberate demonstrations of love might make someone uncomfortable, though. When we acknowledge how truly important someone is to us, they may be embarrassed. But maybe it's exactly what they needed.
My new promise to myself: no more regrets, no more holding back, no more thinking, "Oh, they already know I love them."
Don't forget to say I love you...Love out loud.