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A reflection of love

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Everything is heart-shaped today. It is Valentine’s Day.

When I opened my laptop a few days ago, I noticed my screensaver had changed to a picture of a cliff and a waterfall. The shape of the cliff was that of a heart. The caption on the screensaver stated, “It is a heart-shaped world.” When I clicked below the caption, the page opened to several images of places that are naturally heart-shaped.

I had no idea that there were so many places that formed the shape of a heart, like a forest in Cantabria, Spain, and an island in the mangrove delta of the Vaza-Barris River in Brazil. There is a heart-shaped lake in the middle of Olympic National Park in Washington. This caused me to search the internet for natural heart-shaped sites in our state.

Since Virginia is for lovers, I should not have been surprised to find the image of a heart formed by an old rotted out tree trunk, found in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. The photo was taken by Darren LoPrinzi. I could only imagine that such images are breathtaking to behold in person. They are creations in nature so certainly they should reflect their creator, God. God is love, and reflections of him should show His love. Mr. LoPrinzi’s photo reminded me of those rare occasions when I pick up a rock or leaf and it is so perfectly shaped like a heart that I just know God sat it there to remind me of His great love. Indeed, when we think about how splendidly God has demonstrated His love for us throughout creation, it truly is a heart-shaped world.

The stores are filled with red, pink and purple hearts. I love to see valentines in the stores. But I do not want to be in the store on Valentine’s Day. By the time evening falls, there will be long lines of consumers grabbing their last-minute teddy bears, flowers and a box of chocolates. They are nice sentiments of love, but when you compare what God did in nature with the lake in the Olympic National Park, can these store-purchased items be adequate reflections of the love we have for the special people in our lives? If chocolate is a reflection of your honey love, then his name must be Mr. Goodbar. I am kidding, but think about it. What really is a reflection of the love in you?

Last week, I shared that a mirror reflects the image in front of it. What we consider as representation of our love on Valentine’s Day should be much more than cheap products we purchased in the store. Even if your lover gifts you with a 18- carat diamond ring, the price tag on that ring cannot compare to the love in you. Not even if it is valued at $300,000. The love in you comes from the love given for you, and that love is God’s creation. That makes it invaluable. You cannot put a price tag on it. We couldn’t even afford it. The best we can do is live to duplicate it.

As you consider your acts of love today, don’t stop at the purchase of something. Consider how you might demonstrate and reflect the love in you today. The Bible says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” To demonstrate love means that we give a clear and practical exhibition of truth. Some of us enjoy public displays of affection; others enjoy kind acts of service. Whatever your love language or that of your loved ones, may we reflect the love of God not just today, but all the days of our lives. It is His love in us that enables us to love others. Happy Love Day!

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.