Walking by Faith Alone

Archive for February 2021

Love Conquers All…

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The very first valentine I ever receive other than from my Daddy, was a red stoned Cracker Jack ring from my cousin Sporty. He knew I had a horrible crush on him at the mere age of 5. I still remember his dark curly hair and the way he laughed, a deep chuckling, contagious sound which caused everyone to join in whether you understood what was funny or not. I’m not sure if he actually ate the Cracker Jacks in order to find the ring or if it was simply by chance on his way to our house. My Mom, only a few years older than he, and my Dad enjoyed grilling and watching a sports game or two while my sister and I pretended to play Barbies in the other room, gazing at his 27-year-old beautiful self.

I wanted to marry him. It didn’t matter that our last names were the same or that he was 22 years older than me. I couldn’t drive a car or turn on the stove – I hadn’t graduated from Kindergarten yet but would in May – small details which couldn’t thwart the undying, dramatic affection I had for him. Surely, with the offer of such a ring, he must’ve felt the same?

It wasn’t until a week later while washing my hands that the ring snapped and broke, half of it tumbling down the drain, I realized, it probably wasn’t all that I had imagined. My grandmother, Mama Dolly, assured me one day I’d be given a real ring by someone who would love me my entire life. Suddenly, Barbies were fun again.

Valentine’s Day comes with such emotion. Whether we are in a state of dreaming of that perfect someone, or in a relationship with someone, or lost someone we loved dearly, February 14th seems to bring it all to the surface. Love isn’t just an expression between two people, but a full-blown Commandment from Jesus Himself. It isn’t just enough to love your significant other, but your family, your neighbor and your enemy.

Expectations become realized, and we usually spend a moment reflecting on the possiblities of love. What does it really look like for us? And how does it seem so perfect on the Hallmark Channel and not in our homes. Life complicates things. Friends disagree. Children grow-up. The neighbor’s cow crushes your fruit tree. And, someone decides he/she really doesn’t like what you think on Facebook. I mean, the reality is often, love is a struggle. Showing love can be such a daunting task, and there are times when one has to wonder if it is even possible to love as Jesus called us to love.

Years ago I journaled ways I could show other people love – people I may have a difficult time loving. I came across it while searching for something else and wanted to share.

  1. Celebrate People. Romans 15:7 tells us, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” The girl behind the cash register, the man in the waiting room, the teenager playing loud music in the car next to yours… we need to learn to accept one another – just as we are – warts and all. Be welcoming and inviting. We may disagree with people, but listen to them. Hear what they have to say. They might just in turn listen to you.
  2. Get Out of Your Comfort Zones. It is easy to have the same friends – go the same places – eat the same food; but, I think God called us to a different platform. Mark 16:15, “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.‘”No matter your age – no matter your educational level – no matter your balance in your bank account – get up and get out. The greatest love we can show to one another is the message of Jesus Christ.
  3. Smile, smile, and smile again. Phillipians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say rejoice!” It isn’t easy to smile when life has kicked you around a bit. But, a smile brings hope to those around you. It says, “Today is going to be good. Things are going to be good again. You are stronger than you know.” Spread the contagious hope of a smile to everyone you see.

Love is a rhythm we can walk in step with every day. It uplifts. It offers. It accepts. It dreams. It endures. It outlasts all other emotions. Maybe Valentines could be every day…maybe love could conquer all…and maybe it does simply start with just you and me.

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

February 13, 2021 at 6:16 pm