In kindergarten, the teachers taught us how to make the perfect heart. You start with a piece of pink or red construction paper and fold it in half. Then – and this is the brilliant part – you only need to cut out one side. You unfold your paper and voila – the perfect heart.
The occasion, of course, was Valentine’s day. So as I ponder this morning on what it means to love God with all my heart, a somewhat scary question arises. Is there supposed to be a romantic element to all of this?
Wikipedia talks about romance as a literary genre.
A style of heroic prose… fantastic stories about the marvelous adventures of a chivalrous, heroic knight, often of super-human ability, who often goes on a quest… In later romances, particularly those of French origin, there is a marked tendency to emphasize themes of courtly love, such as faithfulness in adversity.
Hmmm… that certainly seems biblical. Heroism. Quests. Faithfulness in adversity.
But what about romantic love. You know, the mushy kind.
I don’t think I’ve ever been called ‘a romantic’. My wife could probably attest that it’s not something that comes naturally. So I used the google machine this morning to come up with some romantic ideas:
- write a letter to express your love
- don’t make it about how much you spend
- read a love poem
- learn how to say you’re sorry
- hold hands in public
- use candles to create a warm setting
Paul’s letters, David’s poems, confession, public acknowledgement of Christ… romantic?
Let’s try the dictionary.
intransitive verb: to exaggerate or invent detail or incident............. transitive verb: try to curry favor with
This two-sided definition caught my attention – that the work of God is beyond belief. And yet, we are called to love him with all out heart. So where does this net out? Is there supposed to me a romantic element to all of this?
They say everything you need to know is learned in kindergarten. Which brings me back to small hands, construction paper and safety scissors. When it comes to having a romantic relationship with my Lord and God, it seems I only need to deal with my efforts, my intentions, my love. For however I get there… whether I need to draw lines, or settle for crooked cuts, when you unfold the paper and bring God into the equation, you are left with a perfect heart.
So go ahead.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart.