This week we celebrate Valentine’s Day and I tend to favor this day because it offers us the ability to express an emotion that we can hardly live without. The word this week is LOVE. There are many types of love and the most pure is agape which can only derive from GOD. Merriam Webster attempts to clarify it with this definition; a strong affection for another arising out of a kinship. I would be inclined to believe this definition if it weren’t for the missing notion that is best described as a “force”. I believe that love is a byproduct of an unmovable mover that stands in the background prompting like a backstage director. LOVE tells me when to be hard and when exactly to be soft. LOVE prompts me to ask when I would rather demand. Why it was LOVE that gave me all those whippin’s by my mother. LOVE even forgave me for some of those dastardly things that I couldn’t even forgive myself for. LOVE blinds one and offers clarity to another. LOVE made me leave those that I knew so well to venture out into the unknown. LOVE can strengthen some while at the same time weaken others. I dare not attempt to quantify LOVE by measuring it but, the bible says that no greater love does a man have than to lay down his life for another (John 15:13). Yes, it is self-sacrifice that determines if it is LOVE or like. LOVE is about choices and it will make you come home at night. LOVE’s force will make you stay and hash it out. LOVE is giving willingly when conventional thinking says run and don’t look back. LOVE offers evidence of its existence and when properly received can be endearing.

    Some years ago I was told by my Director, Ralph Fravel that he loved me. My being a fervent hetero-sexual I was taken aback by the declaration and almost offended until he clarified his affinity. Picture him… 130 lbs., 5 foot 5 at best, balding, slender, mixed gray haired, white male in his mid to late fifties standing before a 6ft 230lb, muscular black male professing a LOVE that was strange to say the least. I was shocked and to say that I was uncomfortable would be an understatement. Being in this modern kind of world where everyone is learning to be tolerant of alternate lifestyles, I thought it would be wise to have something prepared for such a day when a man of the alternate lifestyle would be attracted to the charm that landed me a wife. Just as I began my canned speech to thwart off the unwanted advancements, he handed me an envelope and told me to enjoy my vacation with my family. You see my family and I had planned a vacation to Disney and the very week that we were to depart I had to shell out $1500 on an unavoidable household expense. The day before we were to depart Ralph called me into his office and told me that he loved me and handed me an envelope full of money to cover the park entrance fees for me and my family. I thanked him and we never spoke of it again. The funny thing was that it was not the money that made the greatest impact, it was the spoken words of “I love you” that tore my perceptions apart and made me redefine LOVE. My being the product of a single parent home, this was the first time a man had ever told me that he loved me. Even though Ralph went on to retire and I haven’t seen him in years, my family will be impacted for generations to come because he was willing to sacrifice of his living and provide evidence of his LOVE for me and mine. Ralph in an instance taught me how to LOVE my son and he will know how to LOVE his son.

   This week I will give each of the women in my life – Tanya, Cori and Deja a token of my LOVE and yes my son CJ will get a hug as well. I hope that you receive a token of LOVE this week and as usual we at SSTMT welcome your comments.

Posted in Love

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