I love lots of people because I feel love pretty easily. And when I love, I love hard and strong and true. But unfortunately I'm terrible at expressing my love in any generally recognizable way, and I fear that many people in my life either don't realize that I love them or are convinced that I don't. That's not how my relationships should be and it's not how I want them to be.
I'm not going to say all of my "I love you"s here because I want it to be more personal than that, but I do want to make a public commitment to say it today to some people who don't hear it often enough from me. I don't know why it's so hard to tell some of the most important people in my life -- my mother, my brothers, my husband, people like that -- that I love them, but it is. I love all of them very much, but saying it makes me feel shy and vulnerable and it's terribly hard to force the words out. But thanks to Esther, I now have both an excuse and a motivation to say it, and say it I shall, even if it makes me highly uncomfortable (and it will). Because it's important enough to be worth the discomfort.
And while I'm at it, I also want to express once again how much I love all the people that I'm honored to call friends. I won't name people because undoubtedly I'll just leave some out and I don't want to do that. But if we're friends, I guarantee that I love you. And even if you're not sure whether our relationship is close enough to count as a real friendship, the odds are that I love you too. It's hard for me to talk to people, so if I interact with you in any small way, even if it's only on Twitter or in the comments of you blog or something like that, it's because I care enough about you to pull out of my shell and talk to you. So yeah. Whether you like it or not, I love you.
I don't think any of that is the most important part of this post, though. It's great that I'm telling people that I love them today, but it won't mean much if it's only me. Esther's dream was for people everywhere to celebrate this day by saying "I love you", and I'm committed to doing what I can to make that dream come true. Not only for Esther, but for all of us. There's so much sadness and loneliness in this world, and sometimes it's not enough just to be around. Sometimes we need to hear the words, to feel a touch, to see that someone has taken the time to make us feel loved. Our families and friends need to hear that we love them and, just as importantly, we need to say it. As difficult as it might be sometimes, there's no doubt that it strengthens relationships, and thereby enriches our lives.
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.So take some time today. Stretch yourself to reach out, maybe more than usual, maybe so much that it makes you feel awkward and weird. That's no big deal; it's just how growth feels. Tell someone "I love you" today, and then push the message even further by supporting the This Star Won't Go Out foundation. They're reaching out to help people you'll never be able to reach, and your support is like love to those people. Do it for Esther, do it for the people you love, and do it for yourself, too.
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, [but] didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy [and] knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Right now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture. But when... perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
For now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
-- I Corinthians 13:1-3, 8, 13 (NLT/NIV)
This star won't go out. We won't let it.
Thank you so much for reading this very special post. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below and, if you're interested, you can also find me on Twitter. Best wishes! <3