Ah, sweet love

Published February 8, 2024

By Lib Campbell

The Christmas candy was barely off the shelves when the Valentine’s candy appeared. Red and pink hearts with caramel and nut-filled chocolate goodness caught our eye. We are reminded of how we love love. Young love, especially.
I remember the first Valentine’s Day after Tom and I were married. Tom was in basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I was home in Ayden helping in Daddy’s store. Mother called about lunchtime. “Libby, a package from Tom has arrived.” He had not forgotten me on Valentine’s Day! Excitedly, I drove home.
When I opened the Valentine’s package, I found Tom’s dirty civilian clothes, waiting for me to wash and keep until his return. He has spent the last 57 years making that day up to me. 
There was the Covid Valentine’s Day in 2021. Restaurants were closed. Most of life was shut down. I set the dining room table with a red tablecloth, white china and silver. Red flowers and candles set a beautiful mood for us. Steak and lobster tails added to the goodness of the night. It was like we were newlyweds. Just the two of us loving the love we shared.
Last Sunday, as we watched the NFL postgame show, Travis Kelce was onstage along with other Kansas City players, managers and owners. He had a terrific game. He had an even more beautiful postgame. 
He came off stage to a big hug from his brother Jason. Then the hug and kisses from his girlfriend, Taylor Swift. It was a sweet act between young lovers. Both of these folks are in their 30s. Finding friendship is hard, especially when you are famous and on magazine covers and plastered on the walls of young people all over the world. Finding love is even more glorious in the madness of fame and celebrity. 
The MAGA crowd, in their suspicion and doom, have taken to conspiracy once again in talking points around the blooming love of Taylor and Travis. They are saying – out loud on television Fox, OAN and Newsmax – that this is a Democratic operation to endorse Joe Biden in the upcoming election. 
Some are saying the Super Bowl is already fixed for the Chiefs to win and for Taylor Swift to interrupt Usher’s halftime show with a message from the Democrats. Vote Blue. Vote for every Democrat on the ballot, especially Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Taylor will sing her way to Democratic victory. 
I hear all this BS and I think, do these people have nothing better to do? The gloom and doom, the disinformation, the harm to people, suspicion and lie is shocking and appalling. Yet the gullible and easily manipulated will fall in line, once again capitulating to big lies and baloney.
There are several thoughts that come to mind. First, Taylor Swift is a grown, well put together, talented and smart person. She is informed and she is completely entitled to her own opinion about all things. She is mature enough to make decisions about who she will vote for and who she will love. And she is the most famous performer in the world today. She is a superstar!
I know we like to take pot shots at successful people from our places of envy. We love to sully and demean others to make ourselves look better. It’s the mean girl syndrome. 
Second, that two young people encapsulated in their fame found each other is the stuff of fortune cookies. Such a tale of love should be celebrated wherever we find it. 
Love is the beautiful gift of God. Why we throw stones is not mystery. If our actions and words do not reflect and celebrate love, we are off track. We need to find a new way to be in the world together. Sticks and stones are for building, not for throwing at young lovers. Get a life, people. 
Buy a big box of chocolate and give the best piece to the one you love. Can’t we all just get along? Leave Taylor and Travis alone to find their own ways of loving one another. 
Love requires giving, and humility in receiving. Lies shrivel the soul. Where do you want to locate your heart? The MAGA grievance will rob your life. Let it go.   
Lib Campbell is a retired Methodist pastor, retreat leader, columnist and host of the blogsite www.avirtualchurch.com. She can be contacted at libcam05@gmail.com