Love. We use the word so casually – almost superficially – sometimes even flippantly.
“I just love this dress!”
“I love chocolate ice cream.”
“Don’t you just love those people?”
We use the word so glibly, and in the process, often reduce it to levels of lustful desire or small talk.
But what does it mean to love? To give the gift of love?
I am reposting an article I’ve posted several times in the past at this time of year, featuring a poem written by my friend, Darlene Dubay, entitled, “Tree of Hope,” reflecting on the tree itself that became the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
Starting from a tiny seed, Darlene conceptualizes what that tree was thinking as it grew, was chopped down and became a cross.
Darlene is a talented and gifted writer and poet and her book, Walking is a Prayer: Glimpses of a Spiritual Journey, was released in 2020.
This has been a difficult year with the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, the inability to meet with each other, give hugs, and share concerns of the day.
We have learned to use more technology to operate our businesses and hold group meetings. We have driven up to our churches and stayed in our cars to listen to our pastors speak or we have listened to sermons on YouTube.
We have had groceries delivered and become familiar with masks. We have prayed and reached out to each other in the safest way possible.
It has been a surreal world – one in which we struggle to create a sense of normalcy. We are even learning how to sing as a choral group, rehearsing without gathering together in a group.
Earlier this month, the Skagit Valley Chorale gave two performances at McIntyre Hall in Mt. Vernon, WA. Joining with our 100+ singing group was a band that complemented so many of the pieces we sang.
It isn’t just the audience who enjoys our performances, but those of us who are a part of this chorale and who love the opportunity to sing under the direction of our talented and gifted director, Dr. Adam Burdick.
It is the tradition that at the end of our Christmas concerts the members of the chorale go down into the aisles of the audience to sing our closing number, “Peace, Peace.” It is a moving experience for both singers and those in attendance.
A friend of mine who came for the first time to one of our concerts told me afterwards that when we sang “Peace, Peace” in the aisles surrounding them on all sides, it was like having an “invisible blanket of peace wrapped around me.”