Sunday, December 21, 2014

Love Actually

"It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends... If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling that love actually is all around
- Love Actually

I watched one of my favourite films last night. Love Actually. Spare me your eye-rolls, I know it has some cheesy moments, but it also shows lots of kinds of love, and isn't that what Christmas is about? Love? True love, lost love, family love, love unrequited, love bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things and enduring all things?

It's easy to spend time with loved ones. We've got six family meals from Christmas to Epiphany, a slew of dates with friends, phone call visits with family afar, and time for just the two of us booked in, and we'll enjoy every moment. We give without thinking twice to a jolly Santa, a cheerful bell-ringer, or an Elfin food-bank collector. We call up old friends to renew the friendship, and invite new ones over to deepen the bond. Who doesn't love those warm, fuzzy feelings?

no beautiful scenery, but a beautiful arrangement 

But, like the movie shows, we're also called to love under more trying conditions. The estranged relative, the curmudgeonly old neighbour, the false friend, the difficult child, the homeless person on the corner. Sometimes we've got to be the love. Drop off a card with a thoughtful note, make or accept an apology, give a hug, smile and make eye contact. They are no less worthy of our loving kindness than are our dear ones. And it may not be easy at first, or even get easier with time, but the Christmas Child, the One given for everyone, from angels and saints above to shepherds and poor sinners below, reminds us that it's possible.

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