I was getting in the car at the Y, waiting for my husband Phil when I noticed a shiny leaf that had fallen from a Bradford pear tree nearby. The multicolored leaf brightly displayed every shade of red imaginable. Red, burgundy, ruby, cherry, crimson, cranberry all intertwined in the heart-shaped leaf showed me a precious teaching about love.
I marveled at this unexpected and affirming stroke of love of a mighty God for me, his creation. It was an out-of-season valentine on a stem, a love note from God. I fingered every particle of the leaf. The blood red of the leaf, mingled with so many other shades of red, was his blood, shed for me. The stem was a reminder to stay connected and never let go of this love-leaf linking me to the love of God.
A few minutes later Phil got into the car. I showed him the leaf and told him what it meant to me. Then I impulsively gave it to him as a symbol of my love for him. There was longer any need to keep the love-leaf. The love it brought me from God was now in my heart. The connection was an unbreakable heart connection. Love compelled me to give it away. I could create no greater way to express God’s love than to allow it to spontaneously overflow to others.
When God gives us an extraordinary sign of his love hidden in a particle of his creation we can receive it with all the unconditionally love he offers us. There’s an eternity of love in that moment. Yet we have only a brief earthly moment to share that gift with those he gives us to love.
Copyright 2012 Nancy Ward