News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

What is love?

My three rescued Scotties love me. How do I know?

I know because they wag their tails and sometimes even howl when I return to them. I know because they always want to be with me and their actions show that they enjoy being around me. I also know because they work hard to please me when times are difficult, such as during heavy snow days when we can’t easily get outside for exercise and to do other things. They may not speak with human voices, but I hear their great love.

I read an article saying that brain scans show that when an owner speaks to his dog its brain lights up in the same place as that of human brains with thoughts of love. That tells me that I’m right; my Scotties love me.

That all being said, what really is love? She’ll say, “I love this cake!” He’ll say, “I love this car!” We’ll say, “We love Sisters!” What do we really mean by this?

The first thing to notice is that each of these comments is spoken with joy and appreciation. If you look at my reasons for saying my Scotties love me, notice that each reason has joy and appreciation at its heart. We can pretty easily say then, that two components of love are joy and appreciation.

Certainly young love is filled with joy and appreciation of the other person. Mature love is filled with joy, appreciation, and respect, at the very least.

How does the dictionary define love? Here is a sampling of what the Oxford English Dictionary says: an intense feeling of deep affection, synonyms include: fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment, devotion, adoration, idolization, worship, adulation, compassion, care/caring, charity, goodwill, sympathy, kindness, altruism, unselfishness, benevolence, brotherliness, sisterliness, zest, enthusiasm, enjoy, delight in.

Christ tells us that we must love God and all our fellow humans. Do we find joy, appreciation, and respect for each other and Him? Think how wonderful the world would be if we enjoyed, appreciated, and respected all the people we know and meet! When you pray, are you filled with joy, appreciation, and respect for the great power who created the universe? You can be, if you take the time to appreciate the beauty of Earth and everything He created on it. The mountains and pine forests have always been my cathedral. How can you get any closer to God and loving what He has created than sitting on a high ridge overlooking a vast forest?

Modern Western secular society has adopted the Christ-based concept that all people should be loved and that each has value and worth, without distinction. Yet, there is currently one thing that seems to override that philosophy for many, one concept that has become the modern puritanical scarlet letter: politics.

We even see it in our newspaper’s letters to the editor. Many good people feel entitled to call others ugly names based upon their political views. How did we get to this point? When I was young, people didn’t speak about politics, except possibly within the family. Now we hang our political views out with the laundry and let people shoot holes in our underwear just because they don’t agree with us.

Love is a powerful energy. It can change lives and the world. Let’s all remember that appreciation of each other is how we demonstrate love. Let’s be kind, caring, respectful and charitable to all our neighbors and to all people in the world. Then, may God bless each and every one of us.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8


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