The Miracle of Love

Dean and me in the spring of 1973

Read and reflect on Ecclesiastes 4:9–12

Then the LORD God made a woman…and he brought her to the man. – Genesis 2:22 (NIV)

“Love is a miracle,” I told my husband the day after we attended a wedding.

The groom’s love for his bride shone from his eyes, was etched in every line of his face as he watched her approach him on her father’s arm.

“You must be so in love,” I told him after the ceremony.

He beamed. “Oh, I am!”

Love is a miracle. Think of it—one man meets one woman and falls in love—and she loves him in return. What, with all the billions of men and women in the world, are the chances of that? Yet it happens everyday.

I remember when I met my husband. I was drawn to him instantly—his gentle manner; his tall, slender frame; his trim beard; and curly, shoulder-length hair—but it was those twinkling blue eyes that did me in. That’s why all the love interests of the protagonists in the novels I write have twinkling blue eyes.

What a wonder when I found out that he was attracted to me, too! I mean, I was the girl who, in grade school, could never get anyone to “like me back.” Who wondered in high school if she’d ever go steady (I did). Who, in college, accepted a proposal from someone she thought was the love of her life, only to have him drop her a year later without an explanation. Who, after having her heart shattered, gave up on love and focused on a career.

And then, three months after vowing never to fall in love again, I met Dean. On our first date I knew deep down, where there are no words, that he was “The One.” We married eleven months after we met. The heart, indeed, has a mind of its own.

 I still thrill at the sight of him. Time and life, with all the disappointments and curve balls and tests and trials, have only strengthened and deepened the bond we share. And, wonder of wonders, after experiencing me at my worst, after 48 years, he loves me still!

Some call it chemistry. I call it God.

After all, He is love (1 John 4:16). He created woman for man and performed the first marriage ceremony (Genesis 2:18–25; 1 Corinthians 11:8–9) because He knew that “two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12). He blessed us with the gifts of romance and passion, which, within the boundaries He set, are gifts, not sin (Song of Solomon).

Love is a miracle and miracles are matters of the heart, not the head. If you have to talk yourself into loving someone, it isn’t love. With love, using your head and all your reasoning ability doesn’t work.

The miracle of love. One man. One woman. Loving—and in love with—each other. Wow.

Dear God, thank You for the love that blesses and brightens my life. Amen.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons, © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Why Mistletoe?

We love, because He first loved us. –1 John 4:19 AMP

I had a doozy of a time finding mistletoe one year. Maybe it was because I was looking for it Sunday morning before church so I could use it in my sermon, “The Symbols of Christmas.”

That and I still needed to get a sprig to hang on the ceiling beam between the kitchen and the dining room, which has become a Christmas tradition in our home. Truth be told, rarely does anyone smooch under it. But I still like to hang it up.

How did mistletoe, a symbol of love (which we celebrate on Valentine’s Day), become associated with Christmas?

Legends about this evergreen plant go back to the ancient Druids of Britain, who believed mistletoe had special healing powers and used it in their winter solstice ceremonies. Actually, “mistletoe,” in the Celtic language, means “all heal.”

When Christianity took root, pagan practices and beliefs were condemned, and mistletoe was all but forgotten until the 1800s, when Victorian England revived the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe as a sign of love, romance, and good luck.

When I researched mistletoe, I discovered it’s actually an aerial parasite, having no roots of its own. To survive, mistletoe attaches itself to a tree, from which it gets its nourishment.

Like love.

Love, whether romantic love or brotherly love, doesn’t exist on its own. All love originates from, and gets its nourishment from, agape love—divine love. Agape is the highest form of love, transcending all other types of love. It is the love of God for man—unconditional, unlimited, sacrificial, selfless, giving of itself regardless of circumstances. God’s love is the tree that sustains us—physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally.

Interestingly, agape (pronounced a-GÁP-ē), can also be pronounced əˈɡāp, which refers to the mouth when it is “wide open with wonder and surprise.”

Such is the love God has for us—it should leave us with mouths wide open in wonder and surprise that the God who created the universe—the King of Kings and Lord of Lords—loved each of us so much He left His throne in heaven to take on human flesh, live a sinless life, and give Himself up as the perfect sacrifice to pay the price for our sins so we could live in heaven with Him forever (see John 3:16).

Such is the love of God.

And like the mistletoe is an evergreen, so God’s love is eternal—it always was and always will be (Psalm 136). It’s unlimited (Psalm 36:5, 108:4). And it is mine.

God’s is the love from which all other love springs and is sustained. We love, you see, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). And like the mistletoe cannot survive without being attached to the tree, so our love cannot sustain itself. God’s love is the tree that feeds us, gives us life, and enables us to love.

And just like the meaning of mistletoe is “all heal,” God’s love is the healing salve we need for all our wounds—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

Wow. All that about a sprig of evergreen we hang up in our homes at Christmastime and for the most part forget about.

A sprig of evergreen that reminds us of the love God has for each one of us—nourishing, life-giving, and eternal.

May each sprig of mistletoe I see this Christmas season, O God, remind me of the love that sent Your Son from heaven to earth so that we may have heaven forever. Amen.

Read and reflect on 1 John 4:7–21.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea for the Seasons­, © 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. Used with permission.