The girl holds a daisy in her hand and plucks the petals off one-by-one and recites, “He loves me; he loves me not. He loves me; he loves me not”
She is not sure if his love exists and so she turns to the daisy hoping that it will mystically tell her, “Yes, he loves you. The last remaining petal proves this. You can settle it in your mind now.”
When it comes to certainty and doubt in relationships, many people are plucking petals, pulling out their hair or having backroom conversations with trusted friends or family members. Or, they have no-one to share their innermost questions with and worry alone.
So much of love’s anxiety is centered in our hope that love will be permanently fixed in place. I want to know that I can count on the other’s love being constant and weatherproof. I want to capture love and freeze it in time.
In reality, love is more like the tides that go in and out. When it comes in, we are filled and when it goes out we feel abandoned. A mature view of love recognizes that love is constant in its cycles and seasons. Its strength and certainty is measured over time and not in the midst of an empty moment.
We cannot demand love or manipulate to get it from another. All we can do is choose love for ourselves. We choose to grow in our capacity to love by recognizing how demanding it is.
We make vows at the wedding altar; not because we are super-human, but because we are human. In our capacity to fail, break promises and be selfish we decide that love is worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting about. Love is better than we are and we want to be filled by it.
The Scriptures teach that God is love. To look at a daisy and pluck all its petals, we find a message on each one that says, “God loves me. God loves me.” We discover the truth of love by looking into the face of God.
Love is the essence of who God is.
A dirty mirror in a dimly-lit room does not give you the complete picture. Loving someone is like looking into that mirror. As love wipes the image clean and brings light to the room, we are able to see ourselves more honestly; and we see the one at our side more clearly.
Love takes us into clarity and truthfulness. We grow to see the one we love face-to-face.