Little Paper Hearts

Love God, love other people. Simple. Profound. Challenging.

Before I get started, here’s your viral meme for the day–good luck getting this song out of your head before next Thursday.

Now that you have let The Rascals introduce today’s topic, let’s shift gears and focus on the issue at hand: love.

I had the privilege of speaking to some preschoolers today for their chapel time, and with February being the official month in which we celebrate romance and presidents (nice irony there), I chose to speak to the kids on the topic of love. Of course, as anyone who works with kids can tell you, it’s best not to just talk to kids at that age; it’s of the utmost importance to actually keep their attention by doing something.

So I walked in with a pair of scissors and some paper.

Scintillating, I know.

But as I began to talk–about how we celebrate Valentine’s Day this month, and how Valentine’s Day is all about love, and how we know what love is because God is love and showed us that through His Son, Jesus–I cut out a huge red heart from construction paper and opened it up for the kids to see. They giggled.

“Itsa heart!” one called out.

“Yes it is,” I said, “to remind us that God’s love is big and He shares that love with us.”

I then picked up another sheet of paper, this one folded many times over. I told them that once we know God loves us, God asks us to do something else, something that can sometimes be really, really hard. And as I said this, I made two simple cuts on the folded piece of paper and paused.

“God tells us that when we love Him, we will also love other people, like mommies and daddies, brothers and sisters, friends and teachers at school, and even people who are different from us.”

And with that, I opened up the connected chain of paper hearts. The kids gasped.

“See, if we love the way God wants us to, we’ll share God’s love with the people around us. Just like these hearts are connected, when we love other people our hearts become connected.”

Simplistic? Sure. Optimistic? You betcha.

But it’s true, nonetheless. I may be able to wax philosophic on a great many things, but sometimes I don’t need words; sometimes I just need a pair of scissors, some paper, and an audience with an imagination. When I walked out of that room, I felt like I’d said more about love in four minutes than I had in a lifetime.

I don’t know why I felt compelled to share this today, other than the fact that Kris Parker has already opened the door on love with his post for Brandi. Maybe you are feeling a little unloved, or maybe you’re having a hard time loving someone else.

Or maybe I needed reminding of such simple truths myself. Who knows?

Either way, may your little paper heart get connected with someone else’s today. And may it bring you the love you need.

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