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From her column Around the Corneraround-the-corner-01-15-1

Wow! Is it finally 2015? Awesome!

Although I am older and much wiser, I am very happy to see the new year. I did not stay up until 2015 rolled in, but I welcomed the new year when I woke up the next morning. Sleeping is a much better way to pass time waiting for the new year than running down a street tossing firecrackers.

It is quiet where I live… usually. However, on New Year’s Eve, the tranquility is broken by lots of noise. While I was awakened many times by these rejoicers, it was easy to keep my sweet attitude, since it is a once-a-year happening, I think.

Time passes really fast, unless you are a child in a hurry to be 16. It has been a long time since I wanted to be 16, but Valentine’s Day will be here soon—a day I can look forward to and celebrate. (Actually, I am thankful I can still remember Valentine’s Day.) It is a great day! Without Saint Valentine, we would only have the birthdays of two former presidents to commemorate in February. Humans need someone on which to pour their affection—and small children need enough valentines for (and from) everyone in their class—each one being their “favorite.” I remember scrambling to locate valentines for my three children. Now, with them grown and gone, I miss the challenge of locating enough cards to assure each one of their classmates (and teachers) received a card.

Later, when I was a high school teacher, I assigned students to write and read aloud their definitions of “love.” I kept several (to remind me of the deep thinkers). Today, 50 years later, it seems okay to share some of those that I enjoyed:

    1. “Love is like a toothache. When you got it, no one has to tell you.”
    2. “Love is being kind to someone when they need it, but don’t really deserve it.”
    3. “Love is when you really care for someone, and you let them know.”
    4. “Love is when one person is genuinely concerned for another person.” (Hmmm… maybe.)
    5. “Love is something you can’t pretend.”
    6. “Love is, well, I don’t know, it is kind of like a dream.” (Maybe I should have advised her that if love is a dream, marriage is an alarm clock.)
    7. “Love is when you feel comfortable enough with someone that you don’t have to be so careful about what you say.” (The other students argued about this one.)
    8. “Love is like a chunk of gold—hard to get and hard to hold.” (???)
    9. “Love is—I don’t know what love is. I guess I’ve never loved.”

Obviously, my students were like myself—really deep thinkers (LOL). Actually, students (especially in high school) often think only when it is a necessity (not a bad idea). Thinking is hard work.

Someone wrote, “While life is just one darn thing after another, love is two darn things after each other!” But there is another definition by one of my 18-year-old students, which is my favorite and still speaks to me: “Love is when you care enough about the other person that you are willing to do everything in your power to help that person become the greatest individual possible.” It reminds me of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

I want to love like that, how about you?

Justine Knight was raised in a parsonage and married to a Nazarene minister for more than 50 years.

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