Love is Here

Photo by Dennis J Coughlin

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It was a Wednesday morning and I was battling the wind and rain on my walk to work, wondering why I ever moved to Scotland in the first place. I was asking myself if it’s normal for a person to place themselves into the middle of a perpetual rain storm and say, “Yes, this is where I want to live!”?

That’s when I came across the sign. The sign that read, “Love is here.”

I was crossing the street and it was all lit up and glowing in a window on the opposite side. The yellow neon seemed to sparkle across the rain soaked road. Keeping one eye on the sign, I safely crossed to the other side where I paused to take a picture with my phone. Then I zipped up the phone back into its rain proof pocket and continued on my way. Except now, I had a a smile on my face.

Maybe that’s the message the sign was meant to convey. To know that love is here even when things are a bit dreary.

Love is here even when it’s blowing a gale outside. Love is here even when you’re lost and not sure what to do next. Love is here even when you can’t possibly walk another step.

What happens when there is no sign though? What do you see then?

Maybe you see your son coming into the kitchen while he’s still half asleep, just so he can say goodbye and give you a hug before you go off to work. Then you know love is here. Or maybe you see your wife getting all three kids ready for school and you know love is here.

What about when you see that homeless man sitting in the same spot as you walk by every night? Does he look up and say “love is here”?

How about when your friend discovers he is sick? Will he look up and say “love is here”?

What about that family member that you gave up on years ago? To be fair, you tried your best to mend the the relationship and they wouldn’t even meet you half way! No one would accuse you of not trying. Would that family member look up and say “love is here”?

In a recent interview, the author Marilynne Robinson said, “Fear has, in this moment, a respectability I’ve never seen in my life.”

She continues, “I hate to say it, but I think a default posture of human beings is fear. What it comes down to … is that fear is an excuse: ‘I would like to have done something, but of course I couldn’t.’ Fear is so opportunistic that people can call on it under the slightest provocations.”

These days, you could replace that “love is here” sign with one that reads, “I’m too scared”.

Will you pick up the phone and call that family member you haven’t spoken to in years? I’m too scared.

Will you be the rock that your friend needs when he get that terrible news from the doctor? I’m too scared.

Will you stop in the middle of the street and bend down to talk to the homeless man lying on the wet ground? I’m too scared.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all answered these questions in our head. We all made our choice at one time or another.

But, that’s all in the past. This is a new day. There is no blame, or guilt, or fear.

It may be a cold, windy and dark winter day, but love is here…if you want it.

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