Why LOVE can sometimes be a four letter word

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of being a random recipient of a dozen roses from some nice guy in downtown Salt Lake City. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. He was gifting lovely pink, red, and white roses to women at random as sort of a token gift for Valentines Day.

I noticed him standing by his Suburban with these beautiful pink roses in his hand. My first thought was, “Awww, how sweet! He got flowers for his wife!” [I did notice that he had a wedding ring on]. I wondered if he noticed that I didn’t have a wedding ring adorning my hand and if that is the reason he approached me. As he started to walk my way, I honestly thought he was going to ask for directions or some other type of assistance. I find I have a very approachable face. People stop and ask me for things all the time (and I don’t mind helping…if I can).

“Excuse me?” He leaned forward slightly at the hip, bringing the flowers closer to his chest.

“Yes?” I queried, waiting for the “Can you help me find…” or “Do you think you could…” Instead, I was taken aback by his reply.

“I just thought you could enjoy these (extends the flowers towards me). A beautiful woman like you deserves something lovely for Valentines Day.”

I was speechless as I wrapped my hands around the cellophane casing. “Um, wow, thank you…thank you very much!”

And with that, he didn’t say another word but smiled and went back to his Suburban and grabbed another dozen roses out–white this time–and started searching out his next random recipient.

To the Mr. Man who gave me flowers down in SLC because I was “a beautiful woman who deserved something lovely”— thank you! I love my pink roses. Especially since they were gifted from some random guy.

As I drove away a bit stunned by his generosity, I started reminiscing about the whole idea of love and the tokens of expression we use to signify our feelings.

LOVE can sometimes be a four letter word. We mock it when we don’t have it, devalue it to make it seem less important, and think that for the most part, it’s not that big of a deal to make such a big deal about. We want it desperately at times but when it requires work, it seems to become a burden, asking more of us than we think should be required.

LOVE can be a four letter word to a lot of people on Valentines Day. We can scoff at the idea of flowers, candy, or teddy bears as true symbols of what LOVE really is…and what is it? Well, who am I to put a definition on something as broad, all encompassing, and vastly variable to so many different kinds of people?

I will admit that LOVE has been a four letter word to myself from time to time. I thought that LOVE would be the one thing that would carry me through difficult situations, my LOVE for others would help influence or change their hearts. Not true. I’ve learned over the years that giving LOVE is so much different than receiving it…or expecting it. I’ve had to let go many of my own misconceptions around how I thought people should LOVE me in return. But yet again, who am I to dictate to others how they should LOVE?

You can feel betrayed by LOVE, feel lost and abandoned through LOVE, have your heart broken time and time again by LOVE, and it can leave you cursing the very idea of ever trying or wanting to be in LOVE again.

But you do.

Try it again, that is.

Because nothing is more rewarding or fulfilling as being in LOVE. Which is why it makes the best kind of four letter word out there.


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