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Beside Restful Waters

by Gregory Hermann

Love is a verb, not a noun.”


This pearl of simplicity came from my wife during our intense discussion around the political disrespect we are experiencing.

I pondered:

I love that car.

I love this chocolate tort.

I love my grand children.

We fell in love.

I love my partner.

I find myself throwing this word around rather carelessly. Yet, day in and day out, I am reminded that the emotion of 'love' is a response to a decision, a response to an act that communicates a state of relationship.

I need to move deeper in to the verb itself. Our English language is a construct of actions toward objects. I do this to that. Many other languages use verbs as an expression of relationship. Hmmmm?

Jesus explained that love is expressed in care for the poor, clothing for the naked, compassion for our neighbor, care for those in prison. These are expressions of relationship.

The Ojibwe language describes the mercy of our Great Spirit according to mercy toward us. These are described as courage, humility, honesty, respect, wisdom, love, and truth. Each of these is an expression of the heart – balance observed as actions that match our words.

Love is a verb, actions as expressions of relationship.

Simple, and profound.

Thanks Ann.


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