|The above photo touched my heart because it's just family. Being together, silly, loving and living life.|
It was taken by someone dear to my heart and just happens to be one of my favorite photographers,
You know, that area in the very back of the store? It's not very well lit, there are no fancy headings, colors or subcategories. In fact this section of greeting cards is not even labeled. There are no elaborate pictures on the outside nor rhyming words in. There is no organization.
It appears almost drab as you walk from the bright pinks and reds of the Valentines section at the front of the store.
As you pick up and open card after card, articulated inside are mistakes made, tears poured, patience lost, voices raised. Love striving to find uncondionality, anger, disappointment, grief and did I say tears. Sleepless nights, worry, jealousy and sometime white hot fear. The last few you pick up speak to addictions and loss.
As we approach Valentines day reflections of beaches, flowers, sunsets, private slow dances under twinkling lights, stolen kisses, soft music, the warmth of intertwined hands, and all sorts of amorous notions fill my mind. These musings are awash with rapturous couples in love. The kind of love that commercials and greeting cards are made from.
There is a "kind of love" that we too oft do not see displayed in the "Valentines" section at Hallmark. I would call it the
"Gritty and Grainy Love"
Jesus example of true love is not pretty. His gift to us was anything but pink and red balloon bouquets. His gift of love was filled with brutality and blood. It's the things real life and real love are made from.
His was and is the perfect example of true love.
Full circle, finds contemplations on even deeper places.
F A M I L Y
In the Gritty and Grainy card section you also find cards conveying such things as forgiveness, concessions, kindness and truth. Morning breath and passing gas at the dinner table and raucous laughter. Some on illness and serious knee time. Self control and keeping no record of wrongs are nestled together near the top.
Expressions of true love and it's willingness to give ones life for it, just under them.
Cards reflecting, commitment, persevering and protecting just to the left. Did I say forgiveness? You pick up a couple on your way out that express prayer and holding a loved ones hand as they pass to Jesus arms.
As you turn to leave, your arms full with new perceptions, you see that though Gritty and Grainy, this section really has the best to offer.
I still believe in sunsets, slow dances and love making.
In fact I believe that we start somewhere in the well lit decorative and well mapped out section of the card store. With all the hearts, kisses, bells and whistles.
However it's just the beginning...