Today, we tend to think of love as a warm, wonderful feeling that flows over us, and fills our hearts. That is one beautiful form of love. I feel it when baby Riley greets me with a smile, when granddaughter Ellie offers to help me learn to put in my contact lenses, when Tom spontaneously brings me roses. That form of love comes as God’s gift. We don’t control it.
There is so much more to loving than that fabulous feeling. Love is truly a choice. At two a.m. of the third night of caring for a crying, teething baby, we choose to love through our exhaustion to endless cuddles and rocking. With the fifth time an aging parent asks the same question, we choose to let our lifetime of loving carry us through our frustration to patience. When a friend, a family member, a stranger says something that cuts deep into our heart, Jesus says choose love to bring you through the desire for vengeance and punishment to forgiveness and caring.
When we understand love as more than a feeling, when we remember that love is also an action, we discover that God offers us a deep well of strength to love beyond our own capacity. Love as an action in our hurting world brings drops of caring that can build an ocean of peace.
Take five minutes every day to open your eyes to the need for love as an action in the world around you. Choose love and build a better world.