There are a lot of people who have written about the word Love, attempted to define it, expound upon it, to varying degrees of success. One of the first books I read specifically dedicated to this pursuit was C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves. In it he describes Love through the context of four ancient Greek words. Roughly translated, they are affection, friendship, physical love, and charity.
Of these four, I found myself most struck by the idea of affection. The littlest of the four Loves, but the beginning of everything. It is within the context of affection that we find ourselves realizing that we are intimately connected with one another, for we have been found to be affected (and often affecting).
But it is the little things that are often taken for granted, and so affection is counted as something trivial, even deceitful, leading us away from grander pursuits of deep friendship and charity. But what if affection was honored for its rightful place in the makeup of Love? The first seed, the initial encounter, the starting work. If the littlest bit of Love is honored would not the entirety be renewed? If we experienced affection in its rightful form we would not be searching for affection only within friendship, charity, and even physical love. The other loves would not be burdened by this. On the contrary, they would be elevated.