Every significant relationship develops special nuances. There are those special little things and the two of you share. Little things that are special to the two of you, little ways of communicating love and delighting each other that are unique to that relationship. When that person wants to show you that he/she loves you, they know just how to do the little thing that means something, that special something that you share, that they know just warms your heart and delights you and fills you with the sure knowledge that you are loved and that someone really knows you and really sees you. It’s not so much about the size of the gift as the significance of it. It’s a sign, a symbol that you both recognize and know. When they give you that sign, you know that you are loved, and you know that they meant to tell you that.
Granted, there are universal signs that we all recognize. Sending someone red roses, for example, is a fairly broadly accepted symbol of romantic affection. That’s not what I’m talking about though. I’m talking about when you develop that more intimate, personal sign, like when you change from sending a dozen red roses to sending a single daisy, because you know that’s your someone’s favorite flower…that’s when it’s personal. That’s when you know that person knows you well and wants to delight you, not just in the grand gestures, but in the little details of life too.
This same thing is true of our relationship with God. He has those universal signs and he does those grand gestures, to be sure. He sent Jesus to die for our sins – a pretty significant, grand, universal gesture. And then there are things like rainbows.
We all know that rainbows are a sign of hope and love from God. Those are the public displays, and they are important and wonderful, but they aren’t the things which delight my heart the most. The things which delight my heart are the things that are more personal, more intimate between us. I love it when God does things for me that are just so “us”. I love those things that, when they happen I know, “Yep, that’s SO Him…telling me He loves me…surprising me, delighting me, romancing me because this is OUR thing, because He knows how much I love this and He wanted to do something special to brighten my day.”
He has a unique, personal relationship with each one of us, and so it’s natural that these little signs that we have with Him would be different for all of us. I had a friend who shared with me that for her, it was moose. She loved moose (mooses??? meese??? Ugh – that’s just awkward no matter how you write it.) and she always felt loved and romanced and treasured by God when she would see one. She would often get out alone in the mountains to spend time with God and refresh, and she seemed to always see moose. (It was odd to me, because I NEVER saw them.) She always felt like they were a gift from God. Like some guys might leave a love note, or a latte on their girls’ desk as a little bit of loving encouragement—Jesus left my friend moose. And every time she saw one, she felt seen, loved, treasured…and her heart would rejoice that God loved her and took notice of her and took the time to delight her.
I read a story (I think it was in Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge) about someone who shared that her husband had had one of those moments where God did something that he knew was just for him…something that made him feel loved so tenderly by his Maker. She wanted to have that same experience. She prayed and asked God to do the same thing for her. She went out along the beach looking for the same love sign from God that her husband got, jealous to be loved by God herself. She didn’t get that sign and was bummed. But then, God did something better – he surprised her with a whole harvest of starfish. She had a particular affinity for starfish, and God knew it. She was there, wrestling with disappointment and wrestling with God, questioning why he loved her husband more than her…you can imagine some of the internal struggle she was dealing with. And then she looked up and saw that the shore had washed up hundreds, literally hundreds of starfish and the beach was littered with them. (I hope I’m getting the story right, it’s been a while since I read it.) But whether or not I’m fuzzy on the details, I remember how loved she felt. I remember that she realized that God wanted to love her in their special way. He didn’t want to give her what he gave her husband. He had something special for her and it was their thing.
Well, God and I have a thing too. It’s not starfish. It’s not daisies or moose (or mooses or meese). It’s crazy, random, divine encounters with people. I could literally fill books with all the unbelievable stories I have of crazy, divine encounters that I have had with people if I could just remember them all! (And maybe I will write that book someday!) Almost everyone in my life is due to some wild story about how we got connected. The wilder the story, the more I just feel certain of God’s intimate, personal love for me behind it. It’s “our” thing.
In fact, even though everyone may not know that this is how that God shows me his love, they may not know that this is “our” thing, still everyone sees it happening in my life in epic proportions. It’s so very characteristic that it’s defining for my life, and happens with astonishing regularity. In fact, it has at times been so consistent that my office mates at Dr Pepper used to come by on Monday’s and want to know what crazy story I had to share about some random encounter over the weekend…and I always had one to share. This happened whether I was in the states or in another country. Sometimes it was that I ran into someone that I had some really random connection with. Other times it was a random encounter with a total stranger that turned into something significant. (One time a total stranger walked up, sat down at my table at Starbucks and began to tell me all about why they had a sex change operation – CRA-Z-NESS! Did I mention he/she was a total and absolute stranger???) And these crazy stories would almost always end in a deep and long standing friendship and open all kinds of doors for me to share Jesus with them and minister to them for years to come. And I LOVE IT!!! It makes my life feel so fresh, so exciting, so adventurous, and I always know that God is a part of my life, directing things, orchestrating, overseeing, protecting me, providing for me, loving me…seeing me.
Well, I had TWO of these moments before we even got out of the country…but I’ll tell you those stories in the next few blogs as this one has gotten really long. For now, let me pause and leave you with this question: What is your thing? What’s your special love language that you and God share together, that thing that God does that lets you know that He’s watching you, thinking about you, LOVING you? Do you have something? If not, maybe you should ask Him to show you what it is…because I’m pretty sure He’d love to delight His bride in a special way!
 But don’t send me a single daisy because you think it’s my favorite flower. It’s not. It’s Kathleen’s favorite flower in You’ve Got Mail. Mine would probably have to be a gardenia, if you must know.
 Apparently all three versions have tried to make their mark on the English language, but only “moose” remains.
 My love language is Latte. If you bring me a latte, you just might find that my knees collapse as I faint and swoon into your arms. You are forewarned.