My love, your love, our love

This is a love letter.

Many will tell us that love is a verb.

That much like faith without works is dead, so is love without action. Yet, the meaning of an action is dependent upon one’s environment. Everything from national culture to the latest movie determines the significance of the smallest gestures and the grandest designs.

What can we take away from this fact except that the same love expressed through different couples can look vastly different? That love can be misinterpreted and that we don’t always know what it means for any given situation that love doesn’t fail.

Love is soft but it’s also hard. Love responds and refrains. Love is vulnerable and strong. Love strives to understand but is ok with not understanding.

Want to take away more from that person-environment nexus which makes everything so difficult?

Loving others as we love ourselves may be insufficient.

Even when we think we’re good at love, we’ve probably just become good at a narrow interpretation of love.

Showing love to someone with a vastly different field of experience is harder, and therefore makes for better practice, than showing love to your longtime friend.

Loving across cultures and physical distance needs to be done carefully. Loving your neighbor can be spontaneous and immediate.

Love is patient and kind because love is not impatient nor unkind. Nor is love always patient and always kind.

We sometimes assume someone does something because they lack love when they are actually acting out of love. We sometimes assume someone is acting out of love when they lack it.

We miss ways Jesus showed love. We miss ways God showed love, especially in the Old Testament.

Some say love is a language and that we speak different forms. They’re right, though don’t let them convince you there’s a set number of languages.

Meaning is negotiable and co-created, which means love is as well.

This is a love letter.

Unless you don’t see it that way.