***Read to the end for a give-away!***

“[God’s] love isn’t dependent on our faithfulness, but on His. We don’t deserve His mercy, yet He freely lavishes it on us. We can never earn His love, yet He extends it to us every day.”

(From Lori Hatcher’s A Word for Your Day–66 Devotions to Refresh Your Mind, Our Daily Bread Publishing, 2024–p. 139)

I have this friend. Some time ago, I discovered we have more in common than our mutual love for Jesus and in sharing His messages. What is it?

We’re both on the lookout for love.

That’s right. Each of us keeps a watchful eye open, searching for that symbol which represents–


I found this out on Facebook, in fact. Prior to really knowing her, when she was more an acquaintance, I came across a post where she’d written about her hunt for hearts. And I thought–

I do that too!

And it’s true! For years, in fact. Have a plethora of pictures to prove it. Hearts in the woods. Hearts in the sky. Even hearts in and on my food.

Sometimes hearts even are the food.

After we became friends, we began to share our hunt for hearts with one another. Since, we’ve found joy in swapping the symbol, usually via text messages. Sometimes no words are needed, because, as the saying goes–

A picture’s worth a thousand words

But let’s be honest. The heart is just that–a symbol. It’s not the embodiment of true love. After all, how many of us can think back to childhood, recall the swapping of Valentine’s cards with our classmates?

Just because Jimmy handed me a red paper heart in third grade–Be My Valentine scrawled in black script across the top–didn’t mean he truly loved me.

He didn’t, in fact. On the contrary, some days I wondered if he so much as liked me. (We weren’t exactly what one would call close friends.)

Perhaps you, too, remember such interactions–being the giver or receiver of hearts from others with whom true love was not a reality, at least not beyond Jesus’s command to Love others as I have loved you (John 15:12).

I think you know what I mean.

So, too, these symbols–those we watch for, snap pictures of, then swap with each other. They’re not the embodiment of real lay-down-your-life-for-a-friend love, but they do serve as a reminder–

The Creator of all loves us, and He wants us to know.

And therein lies the truth I believe my friend and I so appreciate. Maybe you do too.

Because, even though we’ve become an emoji-crazed society–with at least two dozen heart options from which to choose, depending on the circumstance–God’s authentic, sent-His-Son-to-die-for-us love is everywhere.

In the woods. In the sky. Even in and on one’s food. Even one’s food!

Unlike Jimmy’s or _________________’s love, God’s love–wherever it’s found–is His eternal message to you. To me–

  • You don’t deserve it, but I give it anyway.
  • You can’t earn it, but I give it to you every day.

Because, as my friend Lori was and is so good to remind us–

God’s love is not dependent upon our faithfulness–our love–but…

HIS love!

So, go ahead. Wake up each morning waiting to find it. Turn up the volume to hear it. Walk through your day expecting to discover it.

Perhaps pray this prayer first thing each day–

Kind Father, Creator of all–

Help me live with eyes wide open, ready to receive Your love. May I see it all around me–in Your created world, especially in those created in Your image. Yes, even those more difficult to love.

Thank You for loving me–on my good days, my bad days, and every day! Help me love like You. Amen!

***For a chance to win a copy of Lori Hatcher’s new release A Word for Your Day–66 Devotions to Refresh Your Mind, leave a comment about l*o*v*e. Better yet, include a picture you’ve perhaps taken on your own hunt for hearts! I’ll draw a name from those who participate next week, on Valentine’s Day!***