The Third Kiss
Heaven on earth . . . when love becomes routine. We’re not talking about romantic, smushy, pearls-and-perfume love, but the kind of care-all love that results in concrete actions. Not just thoughts and words . . . but actions. A fellow named John wrote in the first century a.d. – “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” That ancient, saintly guy was not referring to Romeo-and-Juliet tales of passion, but to everybody treating everybody with acts of respect and kindness.
The consequences of ACTING in loving ways – or to the contrary – is not theoretical. The mind-numbing plethora of stories about what happens to people when treated unlovingly is the stuff of which movies are made. In Dead Man Walking, Matthew (Sean Penn), who has committed a horrible murder of a young couple, looks puzzled when the Roman Catholic nun, Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon), refers to him as a child of God. He replies: “No one has ever called me that.” What if we really – I mean really – thought that way about each other and treated one another accordingly?
“I don’t want to be taken for granted,” is an oft-quoted thought. But I DO want to be taken for granted. Not only in general, but in my most intimate love-relationship, the one with my wife of fifty+ years. I indeed want her to know she can count on my love, can take me for granted. Novelist Raymond Chandler wrote: “The first kiss is magic. The second is intimate. The third is routine.”
When love becomes routine – within the family, among neighbors, between the various world religions, nation-to-nation – the dizzying cycle of misery that the opposite creates will be transformed into a merry-go-round of happy children enjoying the planet in harmony.