“How is it?” I ask at my place at the table, watching my husband eat – shrimp and pasta, fried chicken, Toscano Soup – I don’t remember what.
The boys around the table dig in.
“Fine,” he answers.
I’m a literalist. I have a hard time with “fine.”
“Fine has devolved to mean o.k.,” I counter, crestfallen. “So that makes it a C.”
“Good,” he answers, looking up from his soup.
“That’s a B,” I say brightening.
“Mighty Fine!” he smiles, eye-brow arched.
My smile broadens. It doesn’t get much better than Mighty Fine.
I’m a literalist. Words mean something. Words evolve and devolve (degenerate) in daily usage – words like fine – which once meant high quality and has devolved into sufficiency.
Kind of like the word love. It’s devolving – and I’m as guilty as the next person.
I read a lot of posts that make me smile, give me wonderful insight – change my day – and I comment, “I love this.”
With every “I love” whether it’s for a hot chocolate with some cayenne or a steak smothered in mushrooms,
Stop (You can stop – but I just can’t).
Or Matilda Jane dresses, Cashmere lipstick, even my boys’ smiles, the quiet on an early Saturday morning interrupted by a cardinal call, new car smell, zinnia seed packets promising orange, lemon, fuscia and ivory blossoms, snowflakes, book packages in the mail, Runaway Bunny and I love you to the Moon and Back, polka dots
Love risks devolving – and I am guilty of helping. Love should be evolving to better reflect the way God created it – the way God loves us:
As a mom, I understand this love:
Love is sacrifice, giving what you hold most dear:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Love sacrifices itself to save the easy to love and the hard to love:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Love has no strings attached. Love doesn’t wait for just the right response before it exerts itself.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 John 3:1)
Love is mighty powerful:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39)
Love is God
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God(1 John 4:7).
Words mean something. When I taught college composition, I’ve noticed that students don’t believe the directions. ESL (England as a Second Language) students are more likely to follow directions than English as a first language students.
I even noticed this last Fall, for the first quarter, my youngest didn’t believe the words of his Logic instructor. On test days, they had to write the entire definition of the logical fallicies – the entire definition, not the essence of it. It took my son an entire quarter to believe the words.
If the word love continues to devolve, it will be even more difficult to persuade someone the sacrificial, unconditional, mighty love designed by God.
So if I stop by your blog, and don’t say, “I love your post” – but leave something more literal – “I so enjoyed your message” or “This made me laugh,” or “This particular line had so much meaning for me” – you will know I hold it in high esteem, that I found sweet value in your heart and that I gained something by stopping by – and took it home with me.
Maybe I will just write, “Mighty Fine” – and if you remember this post, you’ll know it doesn’t get much better than that!
I think I’ve kind of failed sticking to the 5-Minute today – but when I started I knew where I was going for the first 5 minutes – and then kind of like the day Saie, my golden retriever puppy took off after a tomatoe I’d thrown over my should into the field behind me – the idea took off – and like that day Sadie ran – I was holding her leash – and I was yanked around and found myself following her, trying to reign her in. Sometimes when I start writing – the ideas behave the same way. If you stayed beyond the 5 minutes, thank you – and maybe you’ll have a cup of Harvest Apple Spice Tea with me, head over to Lisa-Jo’s and share your own post on the word. . . Mighty. . . on this rainy Five-Minute Friday.