One day this week as I went to watch the sunset, a number of life circumstances were weighing on my mind. Instead of walking continuously along the shores of our new 'Lake Beach', I decided to sit in one place and let my mind rest. It gave me time to ponder and listen to the still small voice instead of concentrating on where to put my feet, and what was around the corner.
So as I picked a tree stump for my perch, I waited quietly as the sun began to paint the surrounding atmosphere, closing my eyes temporarily and breathing in the peace. Then I opened my eyes and glanced down at the little pebbly beach next to me. There was a tiny little pink heart stone. Collecting 'Nature's hearts' has long been a hobby of mine, and this one was so cute, so perfect!
I picked it up and photographed it against the backdrop of a white rock to emphasize its pinkness.
Then I realised there were many pink stones in amongst the gravel right beside me. True, not in the shape of a little heart, but bearing the same quality and colour as my little, freshly found love rock. The entrance for an object lesson from God!
Inspired by a thought forming slowly in the back of my mind, I began to collect the pink and red stones and place them in a heart shape on the ground. Some tumbled from the pile, so I added a stick boundary... in the shape of a heart.
Now I usually avoid the contrived photos of not-so-natural Nature's Hearts that I regularly come across on the web. Give me one that has occurred without human intervention any day! This little project I had begun seemed to go against my ideals, yet as I continued I knew what it was the Spirit was showing me.
It helps to have a definition of contrived.... "deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously."... or as another dictionary puts it..."to form or think of (a plan, method, etc.) : to form or make (something) in a skillful or clever way. : to make (something) happen in a clever way or with difficulty."
It occurred to me that many people are 'looking for love' in a way that is strongly influenced by the notion that we somehow fall into it, or that it is there waiting to be discovered at first sight. After 35 years of marriage I believe the contrived idea is much more realistic. We should pick up the small offerings of love enacted daily, focus on the traits that reflect a living heart, and look for the good in our partner. Placed in the framework of the way we think about each other, they create an ever-growing heart-shaped view that is LOVE. It requires purposefully laying aside offence and short-comings, leaving them outside our deliberately created boundary. Sometimes this is difficult, but I am clever enough to see that I end up with a much greater love in the end.