February, 2022 – If That Isn’t Love

February, 2022 – If That Isn’t Love

You may not believe this, but February is not only ‘Love’ month, but it is also Nat’l Cancer Prevention Month, Nat’l Fasting Month, Self-Check Month and Enrolled Agents Month.  Other days of observation in February are Free and Open Source Software Month (what?!), American Heart Month, An Affair to Remember Month (again, what?!), President’s Month, Black History Month, Canned Food Month and Creative Romance Month.  No, really!

I remember when I taught at a Christian School, we also observed February as National Nutrition Month.  I guess various observances can appear and disappear at will . . .     However, every time I think of the month of February, my mind goes to ‘Love’, Valentines, hearts and a whole lot of sweetness.  I love it!  However, it does make me think of what ‘love’ really is , , ,

This article is dedicated to my beautiful, blue-eyed, blondie sister, Diane who passed away just a couple of months ago.  This may sound a bit strange, but as much as I loved her, I’m going to focus on all our differences.  We were nothing alike.  We didn’t look alike – she was blond with blue eyes.  I was born a brunette with brown eyes.  And the differences don’t stop there.

Our taste in fashion was completely different.  Diane was much more traditional – I, a little more trendy.  With our different coloring, we each gravitated to a different color palette. She, muted colors – and I, more vibrant colors.  Our tastes in food were very different.  Diane had a more limited palate and not caring for spicy foods, but I savored the tastier spicy foods.  Our approach to life was completely different.  My sister carefully considered every step in all her ventures and especially in taking on something new.  She studied diligently in high school and post high school education – and was extremely focused.  I ‘flew by the seat of my pants’ – and studying was the bane of my existence.

As pianists, each of us had our own giftedness within that area.  Hers was in accompaniment – mine in performance.  Performance wasn’t even on her radar – her nerves not being able to handle it.  Likewise, accompanying a vocalist for me always seemed to be like the singer was riding a horse, and I, a camel.  She could transpose any composition on sight, but because of my having perfect pitch, I had to write out a piece that needed to be transposed.  (I would have rather not had perfect pitch, and be able to do what Diane did.)  I think of one piece that she could transpose in any key, “If That Isn’t Love” which tells of the ultimate love – Jesus love for us.

I could go on and on with even more non-similarities between my sister and me, but I would rather stop here and say how much we loved each other.  You are probably thinking ‘how could we even be friends let alone love each other’ when we had almost nothing in common?’  One word – Love’!  Diane was my first ‘best friend’, my sister, and my sister-in-Christ bound together by the love of Christ.  We also had great admiration for each other – and such respect.  I can’t ever remember our having ‘words’.  If I really wanted her to just try a taco (or some other spicy food), and she didn’t want to, I would just ‘let it go’.  If she saw the need for me to maybe ‘tone down’ my life a little, she knew better that to press it, and just ‘let it go’.  (I probably should have listened to her.)

Our love for each other was built on our admiration and respect for one another, for sure – but more importantly, it was built on our common foundation in Christ – from birth.  We were always in total agreement in our belief system though our service to the Lord took us in completely different directions much of the time.  We loved talking about spiritual matters, what the Lord had done for us, our concern for family members and friends who didn’t have a relationship with the Savior – and how grateful we were for parents who led us to Jesus.  ‘Love’ – Jesus loving through us, I have found out, is the secret to precious relationships with others.  And I SO loved my beautiful, blue-eyed, blondie – so-different-from-me sister.  Words taken from that old gospel song – ‘If That Isn’t Love’ . . .