We have a rather strange anomaly at our house. You see, written out on our expansive driveway are the words, “I LOVE YOU”. Normally you can’t see the affectionate message because it is virtually invisible to the naked eye…unless it rains. After a downpour, the hidden message comes to life. I can only conjecture that the desperate scribe was in an adequately sized “dog house” at the time, the size of which would sufficiently house a Saint Bernard. In his hurried act of desperation, he scribbled these words with the only thing he had at the time…I’m going to guess perhaps a chrome wheel cleaner.
I chuckle to myself every time I see it because it reminds me how unexpected expressions of love are displayed in our everyday lives and many times we are just too busy to see it…or may be express it? (Of course, I could also be chuckling to myself because I wasn’t the one in the doghouse…)
A second, much more recent example occurred on Mother’s Day. I like to get my wife a little something for Mother’s Day and strive to make it a little special. Let’s face it guys, where would we be on Father’s Day if we didn’t have our wives as mothers…right? And if we didn’t honor them with a little something, we would probably be writing “I LOVE YOU” on our own driveways, anything to get out of that proverbial doghouse. Anyway, I had picked up a gift and had planned to make her breakfast. I had also noticed the daisies dotting the horse pasture, blowing in the breeze. I schemed to get up early on Sunday morning, sneak out the door and cut some of the daisies and put them in a vase just as something special.
What I didn’t expect was her reaction when she saw the flowers. Jenny exclaimed “You picked me daisies!!” with an excited look and misty eyes. My expression was one of surprise and confusion; I couldn’t figure out the response I received. I later asked her about it and she explained that I went out of my way for a simple expression of love and it meant much more to her than going to the local Walmart for a bunch of flowers. (Hhhmmmm…I wonder what will be growing out there in August for her birthday?)
You see, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a large material item to express “I love you!” or “ I really appreciate you!!”…sometimes it only takes you being present in the moment.
God also showed His love for us in different unexpected ways. One of those expressions can be seen after a thunderstorm; a beautiful rainbow. And before the symbol of the rainbow was used and abused as a symbol for sexual immorality, it was THE symbol from God as a covenant between Himself and man. Genesis 9:12-17 (NIV) says–And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
Even though God had destroyed the earth by water because there was so much evil on this earth, He still loved us enough to make a covenant between himself and all life on earth. To this day, that is exactly what I think about when I have the privilege to see a rainbow in the sky; a promise kept and a really cool expression of love.
Another unexpected and ultimate expression of God’s love for us has to do with our redemption. Romans 5:8 (NIV) states—“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And while I still can’t quite grasp that kind of love, I have to accept it as a gift I can never repay. John 3:16 explains—“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.” The cross, once a symbol of death, has become a beacon of life for ANYONE who believes in Jesus Christ as their lord and savior, who confesses their sins and becomes a new creation. Simply speaking, this is the kind of love that sets the standard for all of us to follow.
So as you go on with your ordinary lives, take note of all of the unexpected expressions of love that surround you. Participate in expressing that love as much as you can. You definitely don’t want to be that guy (or gal) making a run to Walmart to purchase that chrome wheel cleaner so you can scribble a desperate message of love across your driveway. If you need some help with expressions of love, try reading 1 Corinthians chapter 13 (NIV) reflected below; it is known as the LOVE chapter and for good reason.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.