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Dear God,

Help me today to understand what love really means.

I don’t mind the red and pink, the plentiful chocolates, and construction paper hearts. I don’t mind that the florists are having a lucrative day. I don’t mind whatever romantic comedy will be coming out in theaters, whatever beautiful heroine falls in love with a hunky hero even though they started out as enemies. I don’t mind the corny poetry and sappy love songs and interminable kissing. I think love is allowed to include all of these things.

But I need for love to be so much more.

I need a love that will still be there when the film credits have rolled, when the orchestra music fades away, when the stage makeup has been rubbed off and all our blemishes are in plain sight. I need a love that can handle my ordinariness. I need a love for unflattering bathrobes and bad hair days, a love that satisfies even when all the chocolate runs out.

So help me God

GREGORY COLES

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