A Peculiar Kind of Love

It was love at first sight. I knew how the boy felt who clambered breathlessly through his front door and cried, "Dad! I'm in love!"

"How do you know it's love?" his father asked.

"Because, when I kissed her good night, her dog bit me and I never even felt it 'til I got home!"

I can relate to him, because even without the dog-bite test, I knew love when it bit me. And it must have bit her, too, because a few weeks later she asked me to marry her! Before long, though, I began to notice something "peculiar" about her love. She sometimes said, "I love you too much to hold on to you." And she said, "I want you to be happy...even if that means we won't be together."

Another time she said, "I love you so much I want to let you go. Don't feel tied to me."

Talk like that sounded peculiar to me. You see, my love was a little different. "I love you so much I want to always keep you with me," better described my kind of love. "I love you too much to ever let you go," was more typical of how I felt.

My love was a hanging-on kind of love. Hers was a letting-go kind of love. My love worried about what it might do to me if I lost her. Her love worried about what it might do to us if she hung on too tightly.

One day she returned from a doctor's appointment distraught. "He told me I can't have babies," she said. Her swollen eyes overflowed. "I know you want children. I'll understand if you don't want to marry," she continued. "I love you too much to keep you." There again - that peculiar letting-go kind of love.

All of this happened many years ago and, in the meantime, I have learned something about love. Love can sometimes be about hanging on. But it can also be about letting go. It is as simple and as difficult as that.

And I learned something else, too. The doctor was wrong about the babies!

How about you? Is your love one of hanging on, or of letting go?

From RICHES OF THE HEART, by Steve Goodier [email protected] 

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