When my spouse and I were courting, and had come to the point of being pretty sure we wanted to spend our lives together, we would sometimes imagine what it would be like to be in love at some advanced age in our future. Rocking chairs on the porch was always our go-to image, spring or summer the imagined season and comforting coziness the ambience with which we would enjoy those loving times. One thing we couldn’t know: What really does it mean to be in love when you’re older?
Over the years, the reasons to be loving persons have accumulated. Memories of tender encounters are manifold. We’re surrounded by people who love us, and whom we love in return. Our loving natures have been tested and strengthened. Our attraction for each other extends into more than physical attributes.
This lovely, loving woman and I have shared more than a half-century of experiences, each of them a tendril that binds us to each other. Triumphs over adversity, surprises and delights, undeserved rewards, shared purpose—these pieces of life have gathered into the kind of love that says, “I know you well!…and still love you!”
At this time in life, we live within many contexts, settings and roles: We’re parents and grandparents, friends, in-laws, neighbors and colleagues. In each of those places, we can show and receive love.
Perhaps most fulfilling is the reality that we can experience all three of the biblical ideas of love, eros, phileo and agape. Now that we’re sitting on that metaphorical rocking chair together, we realize how God’s grace has made possible every other form and expression of love within our lives.
And we can continue to proclaim and live out the blessings of love wherever we find ourselves.
We can still be in love….!
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