Rarely do I write about another person’s picture, and this is one of those times. I came across this charming photo last week, and asked the photographer, a sweet girl of about 11 or 12, for permission to share it. Victoria was a student some years ago in my third-grade Bible class, and her love for everything beautiful and for God and family was evident to any who were acquainted with her. She is a joy to be around. But that was not the only reason I fell in love with the picture.
It is obvious to me, although not at first glance, that the lawn here is primarily Bermuda, the bane of my existence as a gardener! Even the name Bermuda Grass conjures up all kinds of negative associations, from illegal hallucinogenic drugs to the sinister theories surrounding the Devil’s havoc-wreaking influence in the Bermuda Triangle. I have often considered leaving my beloved garden and moving to a part of the world where “Moody Grass” won’t grow.
However, this patch of lush green in February stands out even better against that pallid, dormant deadness surrounding it.
The charming thing about this photo is that it is a spot of lawn that is considered ugly by most standards, but Victoria saw a heart shape in it. She appreciated that, and it seems she even added embellishments of her own. I love kid art. Victoria is almost past that kid age, but still has the eye of innocence and is drawn to things of beauty. I’d like to think I will never outgrow that, either.
Where do you find “love?” Where are you looking for it? Surely not in a pale, dead lawn. It saddens me to see friends look for love in transient boy-girl relationships or in pleasing their peers. Some look for love by acquiring things that will give them popularity.
This bad habit, unfortunately, does not tend to diminish with age. Teens who simply must have the trendiest jeans grow into adults who think they need the bigger car or house, because that will buy acceptance among their friends. That transient acceptance is not love. Deep down we all know this, but we fall into the trap anyway, to different degrees.
Victoria found a symbol of love in the most unlikely of places. It’s also an unexpected color. How true it is that we bypass genuine love because we are looking for an elusive image that was created by Hollywood, the kind that will not last. Love can be found in friends, in people we are privileged to serve, in our extended families, in neighborhoods. We pass up many great opportunities for love because they don’t resemble the kind we see on the silver screen. We are not seeing love clearly.
God displays his love for us every waking moment. He even rebuilds our cells as we sleep! We know that, but do we consciously remember that as we continue our quest for “Love?” Here we have the ultimate example of love, a model that is useful for building real relationships the right way.
When I have feelings of not being loved, the obvious answer to that foolishness is, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son” (I John 4:10a NASB).
Where is the love? Right here in front of you. “This I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:17).