When we think of the word "love," what comes to mind? A certain person, our family, our spouse, our children? Do we remember a happiness that was so immense it is unimaginable except in our "thought world"? Do we think of riches and having everything we need to supply the happiness of our spouse and children? Do we think of peace; a world of no harm or crime? Or of the town in the television commercial named "Perfect"?

Does compassion, sympathy, or helping others come to our minds when we think of the word love? Or is it wiping a child's tear, feeding a hungry family, giving shelter to a homeless person, holding the hand of someone who has just lost a loved one? Do we think of children's laughter — ah, that sweet laughter — or their lack of worry over life's problems? Do we think of our own childhood — filled with wonder and joy and a mother's touch? Or, are our childhood memories filled with anything but love?

Do we think of roses as a symbol of the word "love," and wholeness as its example? Do we think of passion? An everlasting unity, or an act of a fleeting moment? Do we think of a person in particular, or a group as a whole? Does a special memory make our thoughts of the word "love" become so enormous it enables us to re-live a specific moment in our lives?

Do we think of laughter, joy, or forgiveness when we think of the word "love," or pain, sorrow and emptiness? Do we think of something in our lives that only happened once, or maybe remember this something and the first time it happened? Was it a dream . . . or a nightmare?

Is love a touch, or something intangible? Is love looking past the wrinkles to understand why they are there? Are they from joy or from sorrow and loneliness? Do we think love is just a word filled with emptiness — something we give to another, only to have it abused or destroyed and have nothing left? Can we touch places in our hearts and remember what love did, and realize the scars weren't caused by a pure, real and whole love? Do we feel and see and know and teach that love is full; that love is not just a word?

God's love is so great that He gave His only . . .

Knowing the outcome! Knowing the outcome, He still gave His only . . .

Without love, God would not have given His only Son!

If we think of love as something that causes pain and hurt, as something other than pure and kind and true, then we allow ourselves to fall for Satan's lie. He enjoys us believing that we can't be loved without abuse coming with it, but he is a liar and the father of all lies.

When God created the world, he made something out of nothing . . . and he made us! After He finished with everything we would need, then He created us! That's love! Our lives will always touch someone else's. Let's remember God's love. We may never know the effect we've had on someone, but God will.

Let's think on these things when we say, "I love you," this Feb. 14.