Maybe not for the first time, I got the impression that my book group thought I was a bit crazy. What if, I suggested. What if any time we loved someone, whether or not they knew it, somehow, that person was mysteriously blessed?

We’d been talking about The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce, which is about a person who falls in love but chooses to keep it a secret. Instead she channels her love into friendship and small kindnesses, which pass unnoticed by the man she loves. In the book, we get the impression that this isn’t completely in vain. Somehow it changes his life.

It’s interesting to do a Google search for songs about unrequited love. There are hundreds of them (including the 16th century Greensleeves, apparently). This is a kind of suffering that humanity knows about. This is a common experience.

At the last minute our youngest changed his mind and went to his school’s Valentine Disco last night. (He likes dancing but the word ‘Valentine’ was putting him off.) At breakfast this morning he was telling us how 8 and 9 year olds were requesting songs for people and then everyone was pointing to the person who had been named. He thought this was funny. I felt only sympathy.

What if our eyes were opened and we suddenly saw how much we were loved- not in a school disco spotlight kind of way, but in years full of quiet kindnesses and hope and unobtrusive friendship? When I want to remind myself of how much God loves me, I take a walk, or listen to music, or write in my journal or meet up with good friends. God isn’t pushy, but the signs are there.

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