When thinking about the expression of true love, I can’t help but connect it in my mind to the biblical story of Elijah recognizing God’s presence.
In 1 Kings 19:11-13, there is a lesson shared about hearing God’s voice. Elijah goes out to a mountain because God told him that his presence is about to pass by.
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” 1 Kings 19:11b-13a
Elijah recognized the presence of God not in the huge gestures, but the silent moment. God spoke softly.
In the same way, we need to learn how to recognize the expression of true love. Grand romantic gestures are wonderful, and definitely have their place, but in a continuing, sustained romantic relationship, they become impractical as a form of showing constant love.
Everyday expressions of true love are shown in the simplest of ways, and often disregarded by the recipients. People who love are patient, giving, kind, humble, joyful when they hold their love in their arms. They are caring and genuine in their expression: it is the getting up to get you a cup of water even though you could have done it yourself, the kind word when you didn’t get a good night’s sleep- even though they did not either because of your tossing and turning; the hug after a long day’s work because the know it has been a LONG day.
Sometimes there are bigger gestures. Sometimes the ones who love will bring us gifts to show that they were thinking of us, or take us to dinners, or plan other romantic over the top experiences. These are wonderful, and should be appreciated and accepted for the wonderful expressions of the depth of love they are. They should not be needed in order to sustain love, however.
Love needs to be sustained on the appreciation of the small things: those everyday whispers that tell us that those we love, love us in return.