Before I met and fell in love with my now-fiancé, I wondered, “How will I know when I’m in love?”
Maybe it’d be the electricity from the touch of his hand, the fast beats of my heart, dreaming in the color of his eyes.
After I met him, I forgot about that question. As the months became a year, the reveries became a ring. It happened slowly, naturally, without astonishment. I looked back on the previous year and realized I’d fallen in love without noticing.
When did it happen? I can’t quite say. How do I know? I don’t, really.
I no longer feel the shock of holding his hand. I know the contours of his fingers. My heartbeat slows around him, because with him, I am peaceful. I see his eye color in greenish blues and golden sunsets, but my dreams are about us.
Our love happened without fanfare. It grew in the soil of our hearts, was watered with our tears, and blossomed under the sunshine of our laughter.
As L. M. Montgomery writes in Anne of Avonlea, “Perhaps [love] revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music.” As I read the pages of my life, I didn’t notice that they were slowly becoming music, until I looked up from the pages and heard it enveloping me.
When Jesus walked on earth, he didn’t frequently proclaim his status as the Messiah. He let people perceive it on their own. “This is how God’s love has appeared among us,” John writes. “God sent his only son into the world, so that we should live through him.” (1 John 4:9 NTE) Love was sent in the form of Jesus. He stands before us, hands outstretched, voice calling, eyes beckoning. Yet, it is our place to recognize that this love is God’s.
Love is my quietest companion and my loudest defender. It’s as present as my body and distant as the sky. It changes my desires, awareness, and demeanor. Love is appearing, and in its appearing, I am being transformed.
Love is peaceful participation with another person. Peaceful, because wholeness and holiness abound. Participation, because love withers without reciprocal interaction. Love comes back stronger after storms. And love is more than two people fancying each other. It’s fostered by communion. The love I have for my fiancé is possible because of the love I have from God. I am loved by my fiancé because of the generosity of our well-loving God, who mirrors the magnificence of his story in our tiny story.
Love appears long before we observe it. Incidental to us, intrinsic to us, love appears.
“God is love; those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. ” (1 John 4:16 NTE)