Symbols Of Love

by Lynn Klammer

It’s funny how the strangest things can have sentimental value or remind us of those we love. The comforting smell of fresh apple pie can instill the secure feelings of home and family. The blooming crocuses of spring can trigger childhood remembrances of Grandma’s garden. There are countless adorable sights, smells and possessions that can bring forth warm, loving memories. However, there are less-obvious things that can bring us comfort as well.

Recently, when I was cleaning out my bottomless purse, I found a tire gauge in its dark depths. I placed the gauge in the pile of wayward items that needed to be put away elsewhere, but when the time came, I just couldn’t bear to part with it. Why did I have to keep a tire gauge in my purse? After all, it’s not as if it’s a critical emergency item.

I keep it for one simple reason. It reminds me of my dad. When I got my first car, my dad would lecture me about routinely checking the oil, fluids and tire pressure. To this day, I can clearly see him reaching into my glove compartment to place a tire gauge there.

I hated checking the oil, and since monitoring tire pressure was a simple (and clean) thing to do, I became quite adept at it. But it came to mean something more to me. It was love and concern. It was security. It was a reminder of my dad’s concrete, practical presence in my everyday life.

The tire gauge is a way to keep my father close. A reminder of his caring for me. Some people place pictures of family members on their desks at work to feel closer to those they love. Others hang Aunt Betty’s hand-crocheted angels on the Christmas tree each year. Me, I keep a tire gauge in my purse. Not warm and fuzzy in and of itself, but certainly in its significance.

We often think of the cross as a reminder of what was done in the past, but it’s so much more. It’s a reminder of the real, living presence of God in our everyday life—as practical in significance as my dad’s tire gauge. It’s a tool unlike any other, though, reminding us of a love that is as present today as it was 2,000 years ago on the cross.

Symbols of love aren’t only for things that happened long ago or that we’re missing. Like the cross, symbols of love can be a viable presence in our lives, keeping us in touch with what is most precious in the daily chaos of everyday life.

Just a symbol of love, yes…but so much more.

Lynn Klammer lives in Michigan.

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