So I wake up with Haddaway’s lyrics on my mind: “what is love? Baby don’t hurt me; don’t hurt me, no more”
And I could not help but ruminate on 1 Corinthians 13 and all the good stuff its postulates about love. I also found myself wincing at how much pettiness have been attributed and associated with this great verb as can be seen with its commercialization on February 14th. Love speaks volumes; it tells a story of selflessness, devotion and a commitment to a higher realm of expression that surpasses death. It is a place of total surrender to a command from God, who wasn’t shy about showing the extent of his love for us when he freely gave us his only Son to die, Yes to die.
Many a folk make sentiments and emotions synonymous with love, but Love transcends a feeling, its full display and disclosure is in our actions. Our brittle egos and prideful estates tell us we can’t show love until someone else shows it first, our corrupt society attaches parameters to the measure of love, when truly it’s the lust that guides and blinds our hearts that is been benchmarked; we miss out on the most grandiose and elating experience that our hearts and minds could ever fathom, because we are myopic in our view of life and its givings. Who are we that God is mindful of us, who are we that even in our distasteful states, he still cares and reaches out to us? The flowers, chocolates and diamonds are not significant enough to showcase this idiosyncrasy.
We bask in the euphoria of a tit-for –tat attitude; we are excited at the tot of getting paid for our services: be it an act of kindness, a smile or sharing an encouraging word at work or on the subway. Our lives are cluttered with thoughts of the trinity of man (me, myself and I), when in reality our outlook should be about the next person; our neighbor. What is it that brings a smile to our face when we lay our bodies and minds to rest at the end of a busy and tiresome day? For me I think about my actions and how it affected the next person, I wonder about how much relieve I bring the distressed folk as I go about my daily routine. Love does not have to be calculated, it does not need to be wrapped in red nicely decorated boxes, it is in the words we speak, it’s the cry of our heart that reaches out to the poor in our neighborhoods, the prisoners who are locked up in tiny cells and barricaded from the life outside their surroundings, the children who don’t know what it feels to be loved and haven’t heard those words from the people they cherish most because they are either away at war or tucked away in asylums or crack houses due to the poor choices they made as a result of the environment they found themselves. Love is giving of ourselves in all totality, it is the chord that binds people of all creed and works of life, it is the sensitivity that gives to another in their distress. Love is life.
And as we celebrate our loved ones today, let that same mind which was in Christ be in us, propelling us unto good works that would bring about a change in societal ideals and the way we relate with and to other people. Share the love people, Happy Valentine’s Day.
With a Big Smile from a cheerful heart,
Seleipiri Iboroma Akobo.