Love Is Not For Show

“Look well at it, my darling,” the old man was saying, “and  tell me how you like it.”

“It’s just lovely,” cried Sylvie, delightedly. “Bruno, come and look!” And she held up, so that he might see the light through it, a heart shaped Locket, apparently cut out of a single jewel, of a rich blue colour, with a slender gold chain attached to it.

“It are welly pretty,” Bruno more soberly remarked: and he began spelling out some words inscribed on it. “All–will–love–Sylvie,” he made them out at last.

“And so they doos!” he cried, clasping his arms around her neck. “Everybody loves Sylvie!”

“But we love her best, don’t we, Bruno?” said the old King, as he took possession of the Locket. “Now, Sylvie, look at this.” And he showed her, lying on the palm of his hand, a Locket of a deep crimson colour, the same shape as the blue one and, like it, attached to a slender golden chain.

“Lovelier and lovelier!” exclaimed Sylvie, clasping her hands in ecstasy. “Look, Bruno!”

“And there’s words on this one, too,” said Bruno. “Sylvie–will–love–all.”

“Now you see the difference,” said the old man: “different colours and different words. Choose one of them, darling. I’ll give you whichever you like best.

Sylvie whispered the words, several times over, with a thoughtful smile, and then made her decision. “It’s very nice to be loved,” she said: “but it’s nicer to love other people” May I have the red one, Father?”

The old man said nothing: but I could see his eyes fill with tears, as he bent his head and pressed his lips to her forehead in a long loving kiss. Then he undid the chain, and showed her how to fasten it round her neck, and to hide it away under the edge of her frock. “It’s for you to keep, you know,” he said in a low voice, “not for other people to see. You’ll remember how to use it?”

“Yes, I’ll remember,” said Sylvie. — Sylvie & Bruno, Lewis Caroll.

Besides the beauty of the lesson taught within this passage, there’s another story behind this story, on WHY I’m sharing it with you. 🙂

Earlier in the afternoon, I’ve received an unexpected email from my Spiritual Directors. They hardly ever write, so I knew this would be special. Among other things, they shared their thoughts on, “All Day God, Everyday” with focus on the “Sacredness of the Ordinary Time.”

How do we see and recognise God who is everywhere in the everything around us every-day? 

Is this what St Paul called “pray without ceasing”?  Can this be possible? 

Yes, it is possible and only with God.  

For God is far more interested and keen to reveal Himself to us as He truly is then we are able to recognise.  

We will need new eyes to see and know Him.  Can this be a grace we ask God for for this new year?

Will we recognise and receive Him when He comes to us “all day and everyday”?

See with new eyes…

After reading that email, I wanted to do some writing, but ended up thumbing through the thick, golden pages of Lewis Caroll’s Complete, Fully Illustrated Works. I was reading in no particular order when this story–which I’m reading for the first time today–popped right out at me!

I see Him in a story today and He is speaking to me deeply about Love.

Everybody loves Sylvie!” Bruno says.

“But we love her best, don’t we, Bruno?” said the old King…

It can be said that Bruno is the voice of our Self, who loves and yearns for the adoration and acceptance and love of ‘everybody’.

But the old King, who can symbolise God, says, “…we love her best, don’t we, Bruno?” I see this as an allegory to God’s Love & Self-Love–which is the best kind of love, and worth infinitely more than love and approval from ‘everybody’, which is often fickle, transient and conditional.

But it is a choice:

All–will–love–you. You–will–love–all.

“Now you see the difference,” said the old man: “different colours and different words. Choose one of them, darling. I’ll give you whichever you like best.

The old King has given his invitation for us to choose… May we, like Sylvie, come to see the difference. “It’s very nice to be loved,” she said: “but it’s nicer to love other people.” The decision is up to you. 🙂

Lastly–and therefore most importantly–the story draws to a close with, “Then he undid the chain, and showed her how to fasten it round her neck, and to hide it away under the edge of her frock. 

It’s for you to keep, you know,” he said in a low voice, “not for other people to see

Just last night (and it’s so beautiful how it’s all connected!), I was reading the book of Matthew chapter 23, and the line that stood out most to me is in verse 5: “Everything they do is done for men to see…”

That one line there, struck me to the core, like an arrow to the heart. It’s a powerful reminder.  Like Sylvie’s Locket, that spells ‘Sylvie–will–love–all’, our choice to love others–and therefore acts of love–is not for show.

It’s for you to know. And God knows. That’s all that matters. 🙂

Love,

Mish.

****

Michelle Tan is the Founder of The Love Culture ‎~ Inspiring A Loving Way Of Living. https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Her mission is to make space for Faith, Hope & LOVE through her writings, clothing line ROX/STA http://www.roxstastudio.com & music.

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About theloveculture

Inspiring A Loving Way Of Living -- “The Growth of one blesses all. I am committed to grow in Love." - Julia Cameron -- www.theloveculture.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/theloveculture

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