I can think of no better description of true love than the one in the Bible, in a letter from the apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13, New International Version (NIV)
About the Photo
I took the photo of the ‘heart in clouds’ in July, 2005, when we accompanied my brother and his family to Schiphol, the airport of Amsterdam, for his return trip to Canada where he lives with his wife and daughter.
All goodbye’s are difficult, but we smiled when — on the observation deck — we saw this heart.
Incidentally, seeing familiar images in the clouds, in a cut of wood, or even in a toasted cheese sandwich is a common human phenomenon of perception called pareidolia.