Do you remember the first time you said “I love you”? Maybe as a child it was a beautiful habit that you said daily to your mom and dad. Maybe as an adolescent, a sister or a friend said it to you on a day you needed to hear. The word “Love” means many things to many people and even different things at different times in the same relationship. It can be felt in a kind touch, a long walk along a beach, time spent talking on the front porch. In youth it is sometimes a feeling of connection, a kiss, a belonging. No matter what your love language may be, somewhere in the journey with another person, “love” changes. I think this is supposed to happen. We didn’t have the capacity to understand it as a child. Love meant getting what we wanted from someone. But as we grow we understand, where it was once a beautifully cut rose that could be put in a vase to admire, it is now a rose bush, with roots deep into the ground of your heart. It still flowers, but not in a vase. It takes a cultivating hand and strategic care. In short, it takes sacrifice. From a distance the vase might have an advantage…for a few days. But the rose bush has something you can’t “buy” in a day. It is constancy. No matter what the state of the bush, it holds promise. The promise of a bloom; maybe even many blooms. When circumstances change and the long walks can’t be taken, when hardships and cold blow hard in life, the rose bush can withstand and even become stronger. The vase of flowers is long since gone and destroyed.
It’s not until we lose what “love” first meant, that we find what LOVE really means. The LOVE given and received has a different meaning then, like the give and take in a beautiful dance. The “sacrifice” of each person to the other says it all. Ironically, without the give and take, There’d be no dance at all.