One of my favorite quotes about love comes from Thelma Ritter’s character in the Alfred Hitchcock movie Rear Window:
“When a man and a woman see each other and like each other they ought to come together—WHAM!—like a couple of taxis on Broadway!”
And science seems to back Thelma up. A Wikipedia article on the biological basis of love details the roles that serotonin, oxytocin, nerve growth factors and our limbic system play in both short-term feelings of lust, infatuation and love as well as the longer-term romantic attachments that we form.
To our bodies, love acts as a powerful drug. It causes “symptoms” including:
- Loss of appetite and sleep
- Increased heart rate and metabolism
- OCD-like compulsive behaviors and urges
- Increased libido
But is that all there is to love? Is it just “chemistry” at work? Or is the chemistry a means to explain something more fundamental that’s going on?
I like to think of Love as part of the connective “glue” of all things. Because of my belief that everything is part of God, I believe we’re all connected. I believe that each of us are important and inseparable parts of this Thing we call God. We’re all interdependent and all indispensable to one another.
In our loving we model God’s Love of creation and interdependence. In our loving we re-create God’s desire to make more connections. In our loving, we emulate the creative First Cause that set the entire universe in motion.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, let’s remember that God is at work. Let’s hold our loved ones and friends close. Let us consciously choose to allow more people into our circle of love and connection. Let’s make our love more available, more visible and more unconditional.
It may feel like a collision of taxis on Broadway. It’s also God at work as part of the Divine Creative Process.
Happy Valentine’s Day!