My thoughts have historically not been happy ones upon hearing the line from the old Doors song, “Hello, I love you”. It was merely a disappointing reminder of how deep into depravity our world has sunk, that a guy would see no problem with walking up to a stranger and telling her he “loves her”, and then as a “by the way” ask for her name. Please.
Looking at words from a different angle can change everything.
A few years ago at a family reunion in south Alabama my father-in-law was surprised by a little girl of maybe four who appeared out of nowhere and wrapped her tiny arms around his legs. He chuckled, thinking she would soon realize she had the wrong relative and make a run for it. When she looked up grinning wide, he asked her, “Do you know who I am?”
Her grin never faded as her wee voice drawled, “No, sir, but I love you.”
He hugged her and told her he loved her, too, told her which great-uncle he was, then watched as she skipped off to play with cousins.
When he came over to tell us what had happened, he was still smiling and shaking his head. I won’t ever forget the import of that little angel’s words, nor their immediate and lasting effect on my heart.
I don’t know you, but I love you.
I don’t have to know you to love you.
All I have to know is that you exist to know that I love you.
I wonder what would happen if we could all just wrap our arms around people everywhere and freely and innocently and simply love.
I love you.
Won’t you tell me your name?
Because I truly want to know you. I want you to know me. Most importantly, I want to introduce you to the Lover of your Soul. He is the reason I can reach out to a perfect stranger whose name I don’t yet know and genuinely say, “I love you”, knowing He calls me to give love freely because that is what He did—and does—for me.
I want to love you in spite of your hang-ups, past the poor choices you may have made, beyond your flaws and weaknesses and what others think of you. Or what you think of yourself. Because isn’t that the hardest part?
That’s how freely and marvelously I’ve been loved.
We don’t love that way on our own. We’ve been wired to love, but this life can be unfair and it can harden us and make us forget why we are here. We were born to give Him glory, and what better way to glorify Him than to love in His name?
Here I am, wrapping my arms tight. Because I may not know exactly who you are, but I know we are related. And I know I truly do love you.