I'm a hopeless romantic...wait, scratch that...I'm a hopeful romantic. I'm a sucker for a good love story, fictional or true...although the true ones are so much better. As Valentine's Day approaches you have sparkly-eyed couples who maximize their love by googling and gushing over each other, or you have those poor, bitter souls who think Valentine's Day should be banned, they wear black and look sour. (Hmm, this could be why you have no Valentine). I remain an anomaly. Although I'm single, I don't dread nor despise this Hallmark holiday (see: hopeful romantic) even though I won't get serenaded out my window or receive a dozen roses. Life is full of excitement and, as I wait for God to unfold my love story, hopefully one day before Jesus returns, I enjoy reading other romantic stories, of the true kind.
In the 70s there was a single panel cartoon, "Love is..." that featured a naked boy and girl (appropriately omitting certain anatomical parts) that featured a one-liner about what love is. Kim Casali was the cartoonist and her story has always fascinated me. Kim started these drawings as little sketches of encouragement to her future husband, Roberto, during their courtship. She saw it as a diary of sorts about her feelings for him. In 1970, she signed a contract with the Los Angeles Times where this cartoon was first featured, after a friend prompted her to submit them. Then in 1971 she married the love her life and the inspiration for her cartoons. They had two sons, then four years into their marriage, Roberto was diagnosed with cancer and died after being married only five years. Through artificial insemination, they had a third son in 1977. Kim passed away in 1997, yet her strip lives on as her son, Stefano, provides the art, yet still signs the cartoon simply "Kim."
Like me, Kim confessed to being a romantic. And she quoted her philosophy as being "If you've got love, you've got life, if you can love, you can live." What a beautiful love story that continues on...and here are some examples of her professions...
"Love is...knowing you are right for each other"
"Love is...seeing everything through rose-colored glasses"
"Love is...that first hesitant step"
"Love is...sharing the same dream"
"Love is...soul mates"
As much as that story and those proclamations of what love is make me all mushy inside and I never tire of reading, there is a Greater Love that surpasses them all....the love of God. Even that statement is redundant as God is Love. If I could draw a cartoon about God's Love for me, here are just a few of the ways I'd describe it...
"Love is...faithful, You never leave me"
"Love is...compassionate and gracious, no matter how many times I mess up"
"Love is...being protected, in the Palm of Your Hand and in the Shadow of Your Wing"
"Love is...Your knowing long before each step I take that I will take them, and You are there"
"Love is....so big that You gave Your Son to die for me because You want me to be with You forever."
Now that's a love worth more than a box of chocolates or a bouquet of flowers. May my heart be so in love with God that my Valentine must find Him to capture me.