The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

LOVE - A Four Letter Word

By Elaine Slater Reese - Spring Green, Wi.

It's time again for Valentine's Day. We purchase or write beautiful cards with sweet thoughts, send flowers or candy, and spend special moments with our love.

L O V E is just a small four letter word (one of the nice ones). But it is used in so many different ways today. The small child loves his new puppy. The teenager loves his Smart Phone. The college grad loves the job. The parent loves the child. And the list goes on and on.

Three of my favorite definitions of love hang on the wall of neighbors married (to each other) for sixty-five years. It takes most of their day to just get dressed, take their meds, prepare and eat their meals, and watch the news. But one needs spend only a few moments in their home to see the respect, caring, and love they share.

Once I asked them what had kept their love so alive for all these years. She slowly went from her chair and pointed to the frame hanging on the north wall. The paper had yellowed behind the glass and one could see that it was now very fragile. In her handwriting - obviously years before her hands became so shaky- were just three numbered items.

1. We need each other!

2. A Wedding Prayer (author unknown) O Lord God, who instituted matrimony in Eden: Preserve in our land the sanctity of this marriage bond; that those who enter in may in honor and fidelity to each other be enriched with they blessing: that as this couple are joined in marriage, that both of these lives may be One in Christ. May they not expect perfection of each other that belongs to Thee alone. May they minimize each other's weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other's strength, and see each other through a lover's kind and patient eyes. Make such assignments to them on the scroll of Thy Will as will bless them and develop their characters as they walk together. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them humane, enough of failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Thine. Give them enough success to make them sure they walk with God.

May they never take each other's Love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, "Out of all this world, you have chosen me!" And when life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now still hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. May they serve Thee happily, faithfully together, until at last one shall lay the other into the Arms of God.

3. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And today, on February 14th, I was one of many who attended the service celebrating the husband's life. The words that hung on their kitchen wall for sixty-five years were printed under his photo.