Love is a Many Splendored Thing

I have never heard the song.  But here.

Okay, not that I listen to it, I recognize the tune.  But that’s it.  I think perhaps I had a windup toy that played it as a child.  Go figure.

True confession:  I had to turn it off, even with Nat King Cole singing it.  Sad.  Perhaps if they did a ska version…

Our all-purpose English word, love, makes many applications of it possible. I love a lot of things.  On this high holy day of all things pink and heart-y, chocolate comes to mind.  Dark chocolate.  With or without mix-ins, I’m in.  I love coffee*.  I’m not sure how I would function without that lovely brew. I love roses and lilies and cats and music.  Sometimes, I love them all at once.

Jonathon and I have discussed the nature of love in friendships many times.  Each of us have friends of the opposite sex.  He works with pretty much all women and they’ve become good friends to him.  Sometimes, he even buys them treats to cheer them up.  Not flowers, people.  Candy, or a soda or something.  He appreciates who they are and how hard they work.  They get discouraged by the bureaucracy and frustrated with process.  He wants them to know their efforts matter.  And also…in some cases, he’s their boss.  No, not directly, but he’s in charge of online learning.  So when it’s his project they’re working on, what they contribute directly impacts his success.  The fact that they’re female does not inhibit his friendship towards them.  He doesn’t want to sleep with them.

Am I jealous of this?  No.  Jonathon brings me flowers.  He comes home to me every night.  I’m blessed enough to be married to him for 20 years now. We started out as friends and now we’re friends with benefits and a covenant.  Woot!

I have male friends, too.  I enjoy them very much.  I hesitate to tell them I love them because of how it would be construed. Love can be a confusing word as well, implying commitment, and all sorts of other attachments. I’ve written a sort of homage to men friends already, anyway.  Besides, talking about feelings is icky!  Jonathon asserts our culture has redefined love as sex.  So, if I show affection, it’s easily misconstrued as “let’s get it on”.  I believe our Christian subculture has done the same.  “Women are fer mating, matey!  Not for friends.” This is not always the case, but enough that it makes me wary.  It makes men wary, too, I reckon.

Today, I’m looking around at the love in my life and I’m grateful. I am glad for family and friends and all their kindness and insight brings to me.  Love does not have to be romantic or flowery.  It just is. I Corinthians 13 sums it up marvelously.  I may not tell you directly how I feel because we simply don’t have a good word for meaningful platonic affection towards someone of the opposite sex, but it’s there all the same.  Alas, I can’t use bromance.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

*Today’s post was fueled by a second cup of coffee.  All hail!


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