February 14th is the mandated day to express one’s feelings of love to another through the giving of gifts, cards, flowers, etc. Most smart men know that to let that day slip by unrecognized can lead to relationship disaster and days in the dog house. But the best gift of love I have ever been given came to me not on Valentine’s Day, but another, very different, day. It was not in a box of chocolates or roses. It was not summed up in a flowery poem with rhyming verses. It was in a simple, yet unforgettable, act.
Unexpectedly, on my yearly physical exam, my doctor discovered that my thyroid gland was enlarged. I told her I only came to see her for the stimulating conversation, and that I didn’t really expect her to actually find something wrong with me, and she should stop it right then. I smiled. She didn’t. Instead she sent me for an ultrasound of my throat. When the results came back not quite normal, she sent me for a biopsy. When that was also raising eyebrows from the medically trained, she referred me to a surgeon. It looked to be cancer, but they wouldn’t know for sure until they had the gland out and could slice and dice it under a microscope. Ouch. Literally. Ouch. A month later I was minus one thyroid gland. My only one. (You just have the one.)
Believe it or not, that’s when my gift came.
I was not expecting it. I wasn’t even hoping for it. I had no idea it was coming. The surgeon had said it would be several days before we would know for sure if my thyroid disease, if it indeed was cancer, would require further treatment to include radiation pills. But a mere two days after my surgery, the phone rang. I was not up to talking much so my husband, Matthew, answered the phone. I was resting upstairs when he hung up, and came bounding up the stairs. He was both smiling and crying at the same time. He grabbed my hand, pulled me up, and while he held my face in his hands he told me the good news. Yes, I had a bad thyroid, but it was not cancer. There would be no radiation pills, and I was done with the whole ordeal forever.
I was very happy, of course. Yet I realized as happy as I was, I was not as happy as my husband was. He was happier for me than I was for myself! I can honestly say, in that very moment, I have never felt more loved. I had just been given the best gift another person ever gave me. Sure, I was cancer free, but I was truly loved. What’s better than that? Nothing I could think of. Even being cancer free, as great as that is.
Love letters are sweet, and gifts are often pleasing.
But love in action and by demonstration is the best kind of love there is. The Bible says that our God enjoys giving good gifts to us. He gave us the best love letter ever written when He gave us the Bible, but the very best gift of love He ever gave was actually an act of love. It was in giving up His son, His only one, to restore our broken relationship with HIm. All we need do is sit up, let Him take us in His arms, and receive that gift so freely given. Then we should know that as happy as we are to have been given that gift, He is happier still.
Have you witnessed an act of love in your
own life? Can you share it here? Come on… make us all warm and fuzzy!