I've been staying, with my husband and daughter, at my mother's house in Texas. I am enjoying the excess time I get to spend with her while making dinner or sitting on the couch or watching my daughter and her cousins play in her large back yard. She is one of the few people who I can chat with endlessly as well as sit silently with. I feel like I know my mother and she truly knows me, so the other day when I heard my 5 year old niece call to my mother from the other room and say, "I love you Mamaw," I knew that if my mother had heard her, she would have responded with a resounding, "I love you too, Mikah!" But, she didn't respond. She was just out of ear reach when my niece's delicate voice lilted that precious sentence and so there was no response to the tiny heart that spoke it.
I stood, folding laundry, in another room, suspended with a tinge of sadness for my niece. I know what an ache of sadness can hover in a heart that is vulnerable enough to express love and not get a response of love in return. It was an innocent situation that I doubt my niece even thought twice about but it sent shivers down my spine as I thought of the bigger instances I've watched similar, non-innocent, scenarios play out in peoples lives around me, as well as my own.
Love has such power. Love can heal and it's lack can crush. Love can carry while being without it leaves us lumbering, stumbling along. Love fills but it's void is parasitic, eating away at us till we feel like empty, emotionless, skin.
Requite- To respond to, return.
Un-requited- Not returned or reciprocated.
I think of the devastation that I feel when the tiniest amount of my love is unrequited. When I give of myself, my story, my heart, my time, my attention...my love and someone turns their back to it, as if it is worthless to them. It leaves me feeling cheap and lonely. My heart aches even now thinking about these situations, but I am reminded of a Love that is always returned. In fact, it was gushing, flowing, filling up any and all space in and around me before I even started responding to it. A love that is ready to respond to me as soon as I turn my face towards it, no, as soon as even my thoughts are turned towards it.
I have the love of a Creator, of a Savior, of a perfect Father/Mother/Husband/Friend/Confidant.
I have the love of God.
A love that never fails.
Where relationships can leave me aching and emptying, this knowledge fills me, moving my heart towards bursting. This heart bursting is my response. It is worship. It is the place where I want to be when my mouth opens to sing to Him.
Jesus, I love you.
The act of love is probably the most vulnerable we can be. Are you willing to be vulnerable and love? To show and share your love with others? With a Savior?
Think on this the next time your mouth starts forming the words to the latest worship song...or even, perhaps, your own song.