I remember listening to this song and thinking, "Wow! I am an affectionate person. I tell people all the time that I love them!" Even Dave sometimes says, "You love everybody, don't you?" Ummm....that would be a big fat negative. I only wish and pray I could love everyone all the time, but....drivers. But when I listen to Van Morrison sing, I start to wonder if I am really taking the time to tell people how much I care about them enough in a genuine, authentic way. What about you?
My hairstylist and I had an in-depth discussion (I love her, by the way) about love languages the other day when she cut my hair. She said her love language is "acts of service" while her boyfriend's is "words of affirmation". I laughed outloud, as Dave and I are the exact opposite. I want to hear "I love you" and "You made my day today with your sense of humor" on an ongoing basis, but Dave is all about "what have you done for me lately?" The irony (maybe not so much for those in the know) is that Dave does acts of service so adeptly for everyone in his life, including me. And I always tell people how much I love them, and I love to hug. I do not, however, want to be kissed on the lips by anyone but Dave. That is a weird area, right? How do you tell someone that you don't want them to kiss you on the lips, even if they are family or good friends? I have resorted to simply turning my head so the kisses land on the cheek. It has worked well so far. I suppose the point of this is: we do the thing to others that we want for ourselves. Dave would absolutely love for me to cook dinner for him, I know, but that is SO not my thing. With my hefty work schedule (can you say "overcommitment"?), I would just as soon come home to food already prepared or brought in from a restaurant. So, when it is Dave's birthday, I always try to make him a spice cake that he loves. I, on the other hand, hint (not so subtly) how much I love Dave and then sometimes ask, "What do you love best about me?" I guess I need to be fed.
Telling other people in our lives how much they mean to us was the topic of today's sermon by our dear priest, Debra, who started off Advent with a bang. She told us she is going to challenge us to say "yes" to acts that will bring us closer to Jesus during this Advent season. I love a good challenge, but I also know I am going to struggle to do this on a daily basis. The struggle is the point, though, right? If everyone did one act of kindness every single day, I think we could honestly begin to live as Mister Rogers challenged us to do. It would, in fact, be a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and people wouldn't question whether or not our words and deeds were authentic or not. They would simply know we are doing for others what we want done for ourselves.
Are you in a position to say "yes" to this challenge, as well? I invite you to do so. Each day, consciously make a point to help one other person in some way, whether it is obvious or anonymous. I'd love to hear some of yours! I'll share some of mine with you, as we go through the next few weeks!
In the meantime, know this: it warms my heart immensely when people say something to me like, "I loved that piece in your last blog about -------" when I hadn't even had a clue they were reading my blog. I care about you, dear and faithful (or one-time, for that matter) readers. Have I told you, lately? Now, I have.