“What the world needs now is love sweet love. That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
Remember Dionne Warwick belting out that Bert Bacharach song back n the day? Pretty song isn’t it? The lyrics express the yearning in all our hearts for the warm embrace of amour. There would be peace in the world and in our souls if only we could share the love within us.
We all know what love sweet love is don’t we? It’s that feeling you experience just walking hand in hand with a close friend. or getting a smooch from your grandchild. It’s those warm fuzzies you get after making love or the sense of pure joy you feel at the birth of your child. We all know the feeling. We need it; we crave it. We drink to it and write songs about it.
But we don’t devote nearly as much time acknowledging the deeper side of love. I’m talking about that aspect of love that comes with tears and pain. It’s the love that accompanies suffering and sadness and even death.
We tend to ignore this flip side of sweet love. We mention it in our marriage vows “in sickness and in health, until death do you part) but we move on quickly to the wine and roses celebratory moments. Yet, it is this deep side of love that is the support of a man taking care of a wife stricken with Alzheimer’s disease or enables a person to ay down her life for a friend, even a stranger.
People use other words to describe this other aspect of love, words like courage or commitment or sacrifice but, to me, these are just other words for love. Behind every act of courage or heroism is that deepest motivator of all, the power of love.
There will come a time in the life of all of us when we are called to live the deeper side of love. The call may come unexpectedly like the sudden death of a loved one or slowly like being asked to stand by as a brother or dad or grandma passes away in a sterile hospital room.
I wish sometimes that we only had the sweet love of the Bacharach song but we were created for more, much more.
We only become fully human when we can accept both sides of love, the laughter with the tears