Thursday, April 3, 2014

Common Love

Driving back to the church today I heard a song on the radio about an uncommon love. The songwriter/singer was talking about a couple in love, a love that was unique and special, far deeper and higher than the typical day to day love. I liked the song, but I'm not sure I buy his premise.

Uncommon love? It started me thinking. Maybe what we really need is common love. And what is common love? Well, we know it's not just puppy love, the childish infatuation that can even strike grownups. And, I'm sure it's not that stunning, awestruck "love at first sight" that we hear about sometimes. And it's not the candlelight and roses, staring into each other's eyes goofiness, either. And it has nothing to do with the casual hooking up or the hot-blooded breeding that is so often portrayed on TV and in the movies. So what is common love?

Common love is settled love, love that is no longer in doubt, never in question. It is love that is so embedded in two hearts that it cannot be separated or removed. It is a love that means the past is history and the future is secure. It's an anchor, a rock, a quiet confidence that knows that for every sunrise there will be a sunset - together.

Common love is realistic love, not fueled by naive notions or false impressions. Common love is honest love, face to face and heart to heart. It is love that looks in the mirror every morning. Imperfections are obvious but accepted. Beauty is magnified. It is love that leans on strengths and covers weaknesses. 

Common love is blended love, a love that has learned to pull together those many "opposites attract" differences into one tasty recipe, as each is enriched by the other, stretching and stirring and getting stronger together.

Common love does not flicker or fade or falter. It brightens and deepens and strengthens. Common love is less like a bonfire and more like a pilot light. But, the furnace will still be warm the next morning, not just ashes in a pile.

Common love can communicate without words, touch without hands, celebrate without a crowd, give without gifts, and heal without medicine.

Years ago I was pastor to Willie and Fenna, ages 96 and 91, who died two weeks apart after 72 years of marriage. Fenna passed first and I don't think Willie took one bite of food from the moment she was gone, though he did keep chewing his tobacco. He couldn't bear the separation, so, soon they were together again, side by side. An uncommon couple. A common love.

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