“It’s not a deed…a will…a treasure map. It’s just a note,” Bill Avery argues in this week’s episode of When Calls the Heart when Laura begs him to locate the owner of the mysterious note she found hidden in her coat pocket. Bill doesn’t see the value in a few faded scrawls on a tattered piece of paper. What Laura understands is that, often, little love notes hold the most valuable treasure we can possess. For Florence Blakely, this little note serves as a reminder of a love that defined her, motivated her, and eventually blessed her as a wife and mother.
Rosemary’s sentiments reflect Bill’s attitude as she looks longingly at her wedding album, “Yellowed pages of bygone days…not really relevant these days. It’s terrible when things go cold…” Just as Bill discovers the power within a simple note, Rosemary discovers that the love of a spouse is always relevant – and that it doesn’t grow cold; it just needs kindled on a regular basis. In her case, rekindled with roses, champagne, and a couple of tickets to the theater.
Love notes like the one in Laura’s pocket, the one Rosie leaves on Lee’s desk, and the one Elizabeth writes for Jack are tokens – reminders of a deeper and more eternal love that will stand the test of time. My favorite love note is a book, really, made up of 66 smaller books and penned over centuries.
The concept of love is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible, beginning in Genesis and ending in the book of Revelations. Like Rosemary, who feels her relationship with Lee is becoming an “old hat,” many people today feel that their relationships with God have “gone cold” or that the Bible is irrelevant to today’s society; however, just like any relationship, we must invest in our walk with God to discover just how relevant and present His love is. God has gifted us with a book full of love notes to store up in our hearts, to hide in the pockets of our coats, and to pass along to the ones we love. We need read them.
Many believers quote John 3:16 as the ultimate love note: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” In truth, just knowing that God loves his children enough to give His life for them should be ample reason to keep me to continue feeling “in love” with God for the rest of my days, but I’m human. I get lost in the world and its definition of love, so I look further in my Book of Love Notes and find John 3:29, “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom stands and listens for him, and is overjoyed to hear the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” This Jesus, this friend of the bridgegroom, displays the joy of a best man at the wedding of his best friend. He likens this overwhelming emotion to the joy he experiences at the union of God with his children. This is not just a sacrificial love; it is a joyous, celebratory love. Again, is this a sufficient understanding of God’s love for me? I continue to Romans 5:5 and discover that this sacrificial, joyous love “has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” Not only is God’s love for me a constant act of selflessness and unbridled joy, it flows through me, a lifeblood for my own spirit.
We are all so very loved. Each verse, each precious love note from our God reveals that we are at the center of the most beautiful love story of all time. It doesn’t grow cold or lifeless. It is constant and ever-present. Why then, do we often feel unloved or unwanted? His word tell us in John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Earlier translations use the term abide, as in “Abide ye in my love.” To abide finds its origins in the words “endure, sustain, and stay firm under.” It is not God’s love that ebbs and flows; it is our placement and our perspective that needs constant adjusting. We must stay firm under God’s love, under his umbrella of sacrifice and joy. We must dig deep into my Biblical pockets and reread His love notes. We need to remain in the knowledge that we are loved and trust that the One closest to our hearts wants only to bless us and provide the very best for us.
Musician Christy Nockels penned beautiful lyrics that remind me of the unconditional love of God in her song “Always Remember to Never Forget.” The opening verse, “Hey there beautiful one, you there shining with glory/Would you let your heart hear if I sang about you/Did you know that every fairy tale you love/They have borrowed your story/Of a maiden so lovely and a hero so true?” These words remind me that the love story between God and His children is the the original fairytale. It is the foundation for the romance between Rosemary and Lee, and between Jack and Elizabeth. It is the pattern after which my own love story is written. Our God is the ultimate Hero in the story He is writing for each of us.
His love may not show itself in a romantic candlelit dinner with champagne and roses, but that does not mean it is not present. I feel it in the kiss of a sunrise on a springtime morning. I feel it in the sleep-warm bear hug of a five-year-old’s arms. I feel it in the lingering look of my husband from across the dinner table. I feel it in the sweet words of encouragement from a dear friend and confidante. As long as I remember to open my precious Book of Love Notes and read my Hero’s words to me, I will abide myself in the love of my all-powerful God.