Black History Month. President’s Day. Ground Hog Day. Mid Terms! Parent/Teacher Conferences… The list can go on and on…
…But, what is the big focus of the month?
Thanks to advertisers, florists, chocolatiers and Hallmark – Valentine’s Day. At least, one day in the month,
It’s crazy that we need a day to help us, s – t – o – p and focus.
Love. What does this mean? A good Lutheran question. The answers are as numerous as there are hues of the color red; or better yet as numerous as there are colors for roses that are specifically grown to have certain meanings.
While love has many meanings to many different people, I want to address the details of love. The details that usually go totally unnoticed and in some cases not even remembered.
In the wee hours of a sleepless night, one’s mind may drift back in time to the things that our parents used to insist upon doing. At the time we didn’t take notice and if we did, it may have been viewed as an annoyance – their insistence of doing things their way:
“Why must I wear that scarf mom?” “Really!”
“You want me to do what when I get there…”
“Dad, can you please talk to your wife about her comments around my friends”
“What does it matter, if I do the dishes your way, as long as they get clean!?”
And of course there was the body language: the rolling eyes, the hand on the hip, the haughty eyes, the pursed lips… All because someone wanted to give you their best and/or got caught up in the details of what they had to give you.
I thought about the “details” the other day, when I opted to give the thicker, nicer napkin to my sons, when I was serving them breakfast in bed. Now, breakfast in bed is indeed an act of love and care, but I thought, as I was bringing their hot meal to them, to grab the really nice napkins instead of the single ply that came from the diner from the night before. As I was grabbing the nicer napkins I wondered – will they even notice. The youngest son, sometimes is annoyed when I serve him breakfast in bed. Perhaps, it’s too early.
Then there was the time when my mother insisted upon me wearing gloves that had “grip” instead of mittens when I drove, because she thought I could grab the steering wheel better. I was a new driver and the weather was turning cold and by golly, she just could imagine the wheel slipping through my hands if I wore mittens.
Funny, I think about it now, as I drive through the snow and ice and grip the wheel a little bit more tighter in my suede gloves. That was mom just saying in her way – the details of life – that she loved me.
What details do you do for your loved ones? Do you tuck them in bed when they come to visit, even though they’re 24? Do you take their glasses off for the umpteenth time because they fell asleep with them on again? Do you bring a little treat home every time you go to the grocery store? Do you stare at them at night as they sleep and say silent prayers? Do you go quietly throughout your day petering about doing small acts of kindness that go unnoticed?
Perhaps they’re not unnoticed. Perhaps, when the time is right – these detailed acts of love will come to mind like a bright light and shout – YOU ARE LOVED! YOU HAVE VALUE TO ME! YOU ARE SPECIAL TO ME. It doesn’t take Hallmark to remind us to do the details.
|My niece helping at a nursing home|