Sorry “Sound of Music” fans, you may be disappointed to find that only the title of this post refers to “favourite things”. Also a wee warning – this post is a bit higgledy-piggledy and starts in one place, goes to another, then swerves a bend and goes somewhere else…but it all ties up, I promise 😉
Valentine’s day always elicits thoughts of what love is and is not – and I’m trying hard to resist this being one of those ranty negative posts about what love isn’t, and instead focussing on the positives of Love – because of course, love is a positive. It builds up, doesn’t knock down; it embraces; doesn’t turn away; it waits, doesn’t move on to ‘shinier things. It’s growth, it’s feeding the soul, it’s risk, it’s joy, it’s faithfulness. And it’s all of my (and your) favourite things.
These here are all my favourite things. Letters, keepsakes, photographs, gifts, random items and things that give me joy – and sometimes make me cry. The things that are our favourite things aren’t those things that are the most expensive (although the guitar was pretty expensive – but I love it for the joy it gives, not how much was spent on me). They are the things given to us by our favourite people.
They evoke the memories and emotions of people and moments that I love. Moments where people have been overwhelmingly generous with their time, have shown kindness, shown me my own worth, where sometimes I have almost drowned in gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and most of all Love. These things all represent these moments; represent time and talent, thoughtfulness and thankfulness.They bring into sharp focus that particular memory, which is always sitting at the edge of my consciousness anyway. And they make me grateful and feel loved all over again. But above even this collection of weird keepsakes my most favourite things are chocolate, stories, friends, music, My cat, and a little musical called Singing in the Rain.
Singing in The Rain is the film I generally wrap my Christmas Presents to – because even over all “Christmas” movies it’s a story about the joy of life – about sucking the very marrow out of life – getting every last joy of happiness there is. It’s fun, it’s about living life, it’s a cute love story, it’s funny. And it has that scene… the Singing in the rain. A captured moment when a guy is so in love he doesn’t care what’s going on around him, he doesn’t care that he’s wet, he doesn’t care what folk think of him. He’s so in love that the joy inside just overflows into one of the most amazing dancing feats committed to celluloid. He just can’t hold how he feels inside.
Which leads me to thinking……
“Love makes you do the Wacky” as Buffy would say – From a season 2 episode that is not one of the greatest but shows us what someone would do for love. Not just romantic love like in singing in the rain, but a brother’s love. In Some Assembly Required a very clever boy brings his brother back to life because he loved him so much. The dead brother had always been there for him, had always defended him and here the younger brother can do something in return, it’s his opportunity to do something for the guy who spent many years defending him. ( The episode also considers the question of whether it is more a curse to be brought back? – that question is looked at in more depth throughout season 6 of Buffy)
But back to love makes you do the wacky – I’ve done some mental things for people I love. But they were all things that were worth it, because the people are worth it. And you know, YOU are worth it. And Jesus did one of the wackiest things on record, for YOU.
And that’s how my collection of favourite things has built up – because some of those things are pretty wacky – but they’re a tiny little bit of love to hold onto in those dark moments that threaten to drown me and instead I let myself be drowned in Love. Let someone you love know how much by just doing something wacky – sing in the rain, drive all night, give em a kidney; crawl over broken glass, carry them with a broken back, make ’em laugh; be relentless in kindness, gentle in encouragement, imaginative in your surprises. And it’s not for what they do for you, but for who they are. It’s not for how they make you feel, but for their smile. It’s not for what they can give, but what they need. They need something wacky now and again.