Its odd how the same sentiment can be expressed on one occasion, perfectly acceptable, yet in another time and place it might be taken as corny, strange, bizarre, out of place, and even inappropriate. Expression of love can take on a life cycle of their own, especially around Valentines, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. When these make the public forum one often wonders what the two parties thought was going to happen as what actually passed into memories.
I wonder what the success rate is of those asking for a hand in marriage at a baseball or football game via the public announcer. Is the acceptance rate higher? Do the chances of long term success increase? What about ten years later? When one looks at other expression, grief, concern, and fear, the same type of wonder emerges. Grief expressed at a funeral or a graveside is accepted a appropriate. Nobody was particularly bothered or even took notice when “Jesus wept” (John 11.35) at the graveside of a close friend. Yet profound emotional expressions are frowned on when things are not in a crisis.
What about leaving on trip? Is there a difference when one is going to be separated for a long period of time? What constitutes “long”?
I would like to suggest the following.
It is never inappropriate to express love and compassion. “How” may be a matter of custom and culture, yet the expression in and of itself is an integral part of life and living.
Fears and concerns are often personal demons. By expressing them to another do we understand what we are trying to say as well as what we actually said? Great care is needed. Our fears, our concerns often heard as doubt and distrust.
Compassion and mercy know no season. Listening with heart mercy is a priceless gift in short supply. Giving living compassion through listening and engaged living should be the number one priority on our “to-do” list!
Today is the perfect day to begin giving real gifts to those around us. Life changes with the reality of love in action.
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