The Power of Love…a collage about the many facets of love.  Valentines Day last year inspired this collage, another of the Skirt magazine series, that celebrates the many kinds of love that I am grateful to know and cherish.  Of course, there is the love I extend to others, the special people in my life, the ones who move me and bless me with their acceptance and care.  But also important, and an area I too readily neglect, much of this collage is about the love for self, not the selfish sort of narcissism that permeates our culture, but the genuine appreciation of my individual soul and humanity that allows me to forgive myself for so many mistakes, to nurture the gifts I have been given, and to accept the greatest Love of all given by God.  When I nurse an inner wound that won’t heal, building walls to protect it and hide how vulnerable I am, I am in danger of losing my way and eventually wallowing in self-hatred.  If I am to truly love others then I must offer my wound to God and allow Him to heal me, relieving me of the burden of shame and guilt, freeing me to feel the Power of His Love and then offering the same to others.

A few minutes ago my two dogs got in an awful fight and made such a racket outside I came running to see what was wrong.  I don’t know what started it but one minute they were best friends and the next enemies.  At least they stopped when I screamed at them.  I separated them and brought the older dog, Abbie, inside.  She was dripping blood from her ears and she wouldn’t let me touch her without growling at me because it hurt so much.  She was really shaken up.  I patted her head and offered her soothing words while blood drops fell on the hardwood floor.  I got a towel and she let me put it around her ear and hold it firmly.  It soon stopped bleeding but left a nasty scratch behind.  She whined if I got too close to it, but I was trying to clean it and assess how much damage had been done.  She is sleeping now, no big deal requiring a visit to the vet or anything, thank goodness.  But I am not much of a nurse so now I am shaken up, wondering what is wrong with these dogs and if I can bear much more of their troublesome ways. 

Here is the thing with love…sometimes it can leave us bleeding and in such pain we can’t let anyone come near.  But in the end we must let Someone compress the towel to stop the bleeding, to hold us and pat our heads, to whisper words of comfort while we growl loudly.  He knows why we are in so much pain to cause such an uprising that friends would turn on one another.  Yet He stays with us, holds us, and in time heals our troublesome ways with forgiveness and acceptance.  That is the Power of Love.  Happy Valentines Day!

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