Posted by: christinelaennec | November 19, 2015

“Express Love Clearly”

Some time ago, I took a photo of a plaque on a park bench in Glasgow.  It said simply, “Express Love Clearly”.  I entitled the photo “good advice” and squirrelled it away for an occasion when it seemed right to share it on my blog. I was struck by how un-Scottish the sentiment seemed to be – the Scots are a reserved people, generally speaking.  And I felt strongly that this is the most important thing:  to express love clearly.

I wanted to share that photo with you today, but it seems to have disappeared entirely from my computer.  So instead, I’m using a photo of the Peace Rose in our old garden in Aberdeen:

Peace Rose

Peace Rose

Since the attacks in Paris last weekend, many people have been affirming that we must respond with love rather than hate.  I believe this is true, and I’ve told the Dafter that this is one thing I do find encouraging.  Generally, though, this has been a hard time.

In my own little life, it’s been just a year now since my Dad died, and I have been missing him.  One lovely man I know has been given a year to live; a cousin of Michael’s is fighting for his life at 45 and with a young son; and I’ll be travelling back to Aberdeen tomorrow for the funeral of a friend not much older than me.  I saw her in July and she seemed in the pink, as usual the epitome of the phrase “full of life”.  I don’t know if she had an inkling that she might not be long for this world.  When I asked her how she was, there was a fractional hesitation before “Fine! Yeah, fine.”  I chalked this up to the kinds of niggling health worries that people have, and we caught up on everything else.

She asked me about the children; she sent them Christmas presents and cards every year, even though they were ages 22 and 16 last Christmas, and I’d told her she really didn’t need to.  When I told her how well Our Son was doing, she – who had witnessed our years of struggle to get him proper care – said to me, “You did well there, Christine.”  I protested that it was really only by the grace of God we had managed as well as we did, and she gently insisted, “No – you did well.”  Did she know, at some level, that this would be the last time we’d see each other?  In any case, it was characteristically generous of her.

Last night I went to Liturgical Choir practice and as usual it helped me to affirm my own beliefs that the light will, in the end, conquer the darkness.  The Dafter’s illness has already taught me much about not taking life for granted.  These recent events, close to me and far away, are a reminder that I need to treasure every day, and everyone in my life.

I don’t know why that photo has mysteriously disappeared.  But its words have been in my heart for some time:  “Express Love Clearly”.  Excellent advice in hard times and in good.



  1. That quote is good advice and certainly requires some thinking before showing love, I think. I hope and pray your trip to Aberdeen goes as well as possible.

  2. Yes, excellent advice. Prayers for you over the loss of your friend. ♥

  3. What excellent words – many thanks.

  4. Such good advice just to meditate on and think what do I do to show love. It’s hard seeing ones pass away and my thoughts are with you on your journey.

  5. How very lovely and true. Love is so important, and to show it.
    Blessings, Pam in Norway

  6. Such a wonderful quote. Thinking of you in your time of loss. Take care.

  7. I’m sending my love to you, Christine, as you feel the loss of those dear to you and others. Several days ago the father of a young friend of mine died unexpectedly. He had much in common with my husband. I find myself in a similar frame of mind as you. In my last post after the terrorism in Paris, I tried to express a similar thought to what you have beautifully expressed here…our world needs clearly expressed love. Thank you for clearly expressing love in your life…dispelling darkness with His light as He enables you to do so. xx

  8. I heartily agree with your advice. It has been a dark time in the world lately and I think it has affected us all in one way or another but I always try to remember how terrible I felt after 9/11. I felt there was no further hope for the world and was quite despondent then just 17 days later my first grandchild was born and although just a fortnight earlier I despaired for him coming into such a world, his presence in it somehow made it all seem worthwhile and there would be hope as long as good was always present. Though I can’t say I love you to you, I sure do like you very much and hope we can stay in touch!! 😀 I hope you are doing better and that shoulder is healing. x

  9. So sorry to hear of the many losses and sorrows you’re dealing with now. Prayers that the Lord may bring you comfort. I’m glad you had the opportunity to chat with your friend.
    Perhaps it is enough to have that photo “express love clearly” burnt on your heart.

  10. Thank you for sharing those wise words, I like the idea of them being put on a park bench. I’m sorry to hear about these sad things, it must be easy to feel overwhelmed when there are so many at once, but it’s great that you have the choir to give you a boost. I’m sure the sense of community in that group frequently helps the participants, even if they don’t mention their troubles. It’s always good to treasure what you have, thank you for reminding me. I hope that good memories of your dad and your friend in Aberdeen will provide some comfort in the coming days.

  11. An especially timely post for me to read the night before Thanksgiving. I was washing dishes and counting my blessings just minutes ago. May God bring you consolations as you mourn the loss of your friend and your dad.

  12. […] language of love, for He is love (1 John 4:8). Christine Laennec, a fellow blogger, writes of a plaque on a park bench in Glasgow that reads “Express Love Clearly.” Our heavenly Father speaks love to us clearly, in […]

  13. wonderful post and quote…

  14. […] been thinking again of the park bench that fellow blogger  Christine Laennec (from Scotland) wrote about […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: