Friday, January 11, 2013

dearly bought I love yous

After a long, cold run along the Themes this morning, I returned to a long, hot shower, and I blessed the gracious provider of this shower. Once you are saddled with the cost of providing your own meals, you realize just how blessed you are not to have to foot the cost of your hot shower.
God save the British taxpayer, is my current rallying anthem, (and the generous donors gave Notre Dame this building of flats.) I am very happy to have a hot shower, and once I realized that hot showers are not free, they became even happier occasions.
The daily miracle of transforming a messy, frozen little girl-on-a-run into a refreshed, toasty little woman ready to embrace the day is something for which to be grateful.

Once you start buying your own food, you realize how much everything costs.
And then gratitude skyrockets.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are luxuries that are received with awe and trembling. Each bite of a meal is savored more, it becomes more dear, because of the cost of each delicious bite.

~

People often say that the word "love" gets used too often, too freely, too loosely.
People often also say that the word love is not used freely enough. That we are too afraid to use a word that's at the core of our existence.

Each "I love you," once you realize how much it has cost, becomes something precious. I love yous are dearly bought. Those three words come with a sacrifice. The price tag is yourself. And then each one becomes something cherished, something so irreplaceably, perfectly precious. Something with an overwhelming magnitude, and a mysterious wonder.

In a cathedral named after St. Paul, a martyr who knew first-hand what the cost of an "I love you" is, I looked up at the cross, and I saw the face of a man who knew more deeply than all of us how much an "I love you" costs.
Besieged by gratitude, I could only marvel at every gift of an I love you I have ever received.
And the next time I said those three words, although they were said with laughter while traipsing down the rain-kissed London sidewalks, was streaked with all the understanding and promise of sacrifice.

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