An important part of Scruffy’s story is that he discovers that no matter what mischief he does that the Maker will always love him…this is something that all of us yearn for! But what is Love?? Is it a warm, fuzzy feeling that envelopes us like a cozy blanket in winter or is it a lofty, noble thought that no one can really understand?? Following I share a little story about love…a true story that I think will help to define Love. Read on…. (for the fuller story, see my book, “Finding His Way.”)
When Bob and I were dating, he captured my heart by
sneaking up to my house numerous times and leaving
simple little notes for me. Each note started with the words,
“Love is…”! There were tons of them, like “Love
is…gazing longingly at each other across a crowded room”
and “Love is…not even noticing you forgot to bring the
picnic basket.” I adored these little notes and looked forward
to receiving them.
As our relationship developed over the years, we would
continue to leave cute little notes for each other. On one
occasion that I vividly remember, I was going to be heading
off to counsel for two weeks at Camp Mini-Yo-We. The day
before departure, I had the day off and was using the time to
prepare some freezer meals for Bob to eat while I was away.
My thoughts were on him as much as they were on pre-camp
preparations. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could send
him a little note every morning so that he would know that
I missed him.” This was in the days before cell phones and
text messaging…how easy it would be now to accomplish
this! It occurred to me that I could still do this if I wrote a
bunch of notes and hid them in places where I knew he
would find them over the next two weeks. Excitedly, I busily
wrote 14 notes…numbering each one. The notes were silly
little “Love is” messages…cute, intimate…” for your eyes
only,” type of notes! I knew that he would be touched that I
had taken the time to do this, in the middle of busy preparations.
I finished writing the notes and proceeded to cunningly
hide them all over the house, not wanting him to discover
all of them at once. I should have remembered that he
seldom bent his knees to look for anything!
The next day I headed off to camp. I was directing a twoweek
out-tripping camp that year, filled with hormonally
complicated 14 to 16 year old girls. The Northwoods section
of camp was an isolated, mostly girls-only camp, apart from
the maintenance men and visiting staff husbands. Because of
this, the girls were more able to focus on becoming good
out-trippers, fine-tuning their skills for the big canoe trip,
which would take place in the second week of camp.
The middle Saturday evening was a relaxed affair following
a day of canoe trip preparations. Bob came for a
brief visit, as was his usual custom. The girls took this
opportunity to tease us for wanting to be together after only
one week apart…you know, silly girl stuff. He tolerated this
for about five minutes then hid in our cabin until the girls
headed off to bed! The next day as he was heading home,
openly glad to be leaving behind this hormonally charged
gang of girls, I dropped a bombshell on him: “Bob, we have
decided to paddle the Spanish River this year with our
senior paddlers, but the distance to the starting point is such
a long drive that we can’t do it on the first morning of the
canoe trip, so I have offered to have the girls sleep over at
our house the night before the trip.” He just groaned and
rolled his eyes as he left!
A day later we arrived in Wahnapitae…all 12 of us! I
had warned the girls to be on their best behaviour and not
to razz Bob too much. They promised to try! All went very
smoothly…the girls settled into their sleeping bags on the
living room floor and we headed to our bedroom.
As one might expect, there was a fair amount of chatter,
lots of giggles and laughter, then suddenly unnatural quiet
followed by very fierce quiet whispering! It all settled down
an hour later, and sleep came to us all.
Bright and early the next morning we headed off. The
canoe trip was great…rapids were run with very few incidents…
the weather was good…we didn’t get lost…and we
arrived at our destination on time. Success—a trouble-free
trip…a rare occurrence for me!
Traditionally the last night at camp the girls would entertain
each other and all the visitors with funny skits about
their canoe trips, and this year would be no exception! There
was a lot of giggling involved in the preparation and strange
looks often cast in my direction for some reason. When Bob
arrived, he was greeted with loud applause, catcalls, and
whistles, which served to chase him from the room! Then it
was time for the big event…the skits. The first two skits were
crazy, but good and there was one left to go when Bob whispered
that he had seen enough. He got up to leave and was
surprised when the girls of the last group pleaded with him
to stay for their skit. I assumed it was because they knew him
a bit better than the rest because they were the campers who
had stayed at our house. Embarrassed, he nodded and sat
back down, not wanting to spoil their fun.
With great aplomb, they took the stage. Two of the girls
pretended to be Bob and I…embracing and snuggling each
other to the amusement of all (except Bob), then one girl
after another stood up to read little…strangely
familiar…notes that they had in their hands. I wondered
what they were up to, until the first note was read:
“Number 5—I will miss cuddling on the couch together
watching our favourite movie—I love you.”
In shock, Bob and I looked at each other…instantly we
knew what had happened! The night of the sleepover, the
little darlings had found the notes that I had left for
Bob…the personal, for-his-eyes-only notes. Yikes, was I
ever going to be in trouble!
As the skit proceeded, they read 5 of my 14 notes to the
total glee of the other campers and counsellors. Bob fled the
room, but I had to endure the entire performance, forced to
sit there with a glowing red face! Oh, what a night!
Romantic love makes us do some silly things!
But love is…more than warm fuzzy emotions…more
than romantic love. Love is complex…love is God!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one
and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not
perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his
Son into the world to condemn the world, but to
save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).
Love is displayed in many ways…ways that often
encompass all of the other fruit of the Spirit.
“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 Cor 13)
So…what is love? Love is…God!