Real love is about more than fleeting symbols

By  Ann Chazhoor, Youth Speak News
  • December 3, 2009
Love: it’s a simple four-letter word, often misused, that brings to mind the picturesque image of a couple frolicking towards each other through a meadow of sunflowers. If that’s what love really is, I wouldn’t understand why everyone was chasing after it. Especially since sunflowers attract bees and various other buzzing insects.

As a Catholic teen, I am often conflicted between the difference between God’s love and the world’s idea of love. At first glance, the worldly love seems much more interesting. Red roses, candy hearts with cheesy lines and love letters. They are all symbols of love given to someone. However, I noticed, even as a child, that these symbols quickly fade: the red roses wilt and turn brown, the candy hearts are eaten and the love letter is often torn in two or forgotten.

Why don’t symbols of love always last forever? That is a question I ask myself frequently. Whenever I hear lovers confessing that they will “love each other forever and ever,” I think about the wilted rose, the eaten candies, the ripped letters. Of course, love between people should not be condemned. I simply ponder whether love can truly last an eternity. Forever is a very long time.

It’s a universal and human feeling to want to be loved and cherished. As humans, God programs us to feel the need to be loved. In this way, He can love us and fulfill our most basic human needs. But trying to explain that to the frolicking couple in the meadow is no easy task.

I admit I was in the meadow at one point in life. While I was there, I discovered that no matter how much I frolicked, no matter how much I chased after love, no matter how many bees I valiantly fought off, there was a hole in my heart.

I always felt as though I was searching for something, but not knowing what I was looking for. All I knew was that there was something missing in life and I was determined to find it. The love that the world offered seemed to fill the hole for a while, but soon I was searching again. This is a cycle that we all go through. We search, we find something with an interesting shape and try to shove it in our hearts, throw it out when we discover it doesn’t fit and begin to search again. I sought to put an end to this never-ending cycle when I decided to give God’s love a try.

God’s love is not adorned with a million roses, nor does it sparkle like precious stones. Yet, I felt I had nothing to lose. It was in that moment, when I decided to fill the hole in my heart with the love of God, that everything else fell into place. I was no longer searching and felt complete. Today, I can’t say that I’m never in the meadow. However, I do know that there is someone who holds me very dear to His heart and He is worth chasing. Today, I dare you to give God’s love a chance. You have nothing to lose.

(Ann Chazhoor is a Grade 12 student at Turner Fenton Secondary School in Brampton, Ont.)

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