Family works

Speaking on love

Rob Coombs ID. Min. Ph.D.
Posted 12/25/16

What is Christmas?

Many of us believe that Christmas is mostly about love.

But what is love?

Fearing that I could not come up with an adequate definition of love, I decided to go directly …

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Family works

Speaking on love

Posted

What is Christmas?

Many of us believe that Christmas is mostly about love.

But what is love?

Fearing that I could not come up with an adequate definition of love, I decided to go directly to the authorities, those whose hearts still remained pure and untainted. So I traveled to visit a second-grade classroom and found many eager authorities on the subject of love.

Sam told me, “Love is when somebody gets together and marries.”

Ben said, “Love is a treat to have.”

Joey eagerly told me, “Love is someone you care for.”

Katherine believed, “Love is liking someone very special.”

Lindsey told me, “Love is liking who you are.”

Francis said, “Love is yourself, you give it away.”

Lance enthusiastically told me, “Love is Christmas.”

Daniel told me, “Love is when you kiss somebody.”

Brook told me, “Love is kind of an unexplainable feeling.”

No one has ever really defined love. I don’t suppose you actually can. Maybe, as the children I talked to conveyed, the best way to define love is by describing acts of love — which means that love is better understood as a verb, rather than a noun. In other words, love is not so much what you feel as what you do.

Once you begin to practice the fine art of love, you will find that it changes everything about you — the way you see yourself, the way you see others. Love, unlike anything else, transforms your life. Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Geisel) understood this, and tells a wonderful story of how love can dramatically change a life. It doesn’t matter how old you are, the reading of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” should be a yearly event. Remember the Grinch who stole Christmas? (If you don’t, go to the library today!)

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! No one knew exactly why. It could be, we are told, “His head wasn’t screwed on just right.”

It could be, perhaps, that “his shoes were too tight.”

But Dr. Seuss thought that the most likely reason of all may have been that “his heart was two sizes too small.” (I think he was probably right about this. Love demands a pretty big heart.) So the Grinch with his small heart got an ugly idea like so many people with small hearts do. And like others with small hearts, he took special delight in this “wonderful,” awful idea! He dressed as Santa, with coat and hat, slid down every chimney in Whoville (that’s where the little Whos live) and stole every toy — tricycles, pop guns, drums, checkerboards. Stuffed it all in his bag and away he went. He even stole the tinsel, trimmings, and trappings decorating Whoville.

What he expected to hear as the children awoke on Christmas morning were cries of “boo-hoo,” but he got a shocking surprise; all the children down in Whoville were singing with delight without any presents at all!

He was dumbfounded. “How could it be so? Christmas came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags! He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming. It came.”

Then it occurred to the Grinch, a thought that had not occurred before ... “That maybe, just maybe, Christmas doesn’t come from the store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps means a little bit more.” Maybe Christmas, he came to understand as he wiped the tears from his eyes, is really all about love.

With that realization, we are told, the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.

Whatever Christmas may be for you this season, I hope that above all it is a season of love.

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