No message is more important or timelier than the simple messages of love. How tragic, that so many children grow up never hearing a simple “I love you” from their mothers or fathers. How sad when long-married couples never give voice to tender feelings or loving thoughts. Sometimes, certainly, it is because love has fled, but more often it is because we have never learned to feel comfortable saying the words. 


          And so many of us wait. We wait to hear that simple, little message that never seems to come. Or we wait to express our feelings of love. Tragically, sometimes we wait until it is too late to send that all-important message. 


          In the Bible, St. Paul was in his last days, feeling abandoned by some of his friends and expecting martyrdom, when he wrote to his young friend Timothy, whom he loved like a son. There, imbedded in his closing, is the little phrase, “Do your best to come before winter.” I wonder if Timothy noticed that plea for his presence. I wonder how many Pauls there are in my life, sending their subtle requests for my care and attention. And I wonder how often I have put them off because of the press of other, more demanding things.


          The fact is that some things simply will not wait — expressions of love, and the saving up of the memories. I have long believed that much of life has to do with “making memories” — sharing experiences with those we love, experiences and adventures that will one day be the memories that will nourish us into old age. There is a current TV commercial for an SUV, highlighting all the places we ought to go and things we ought to do with our kids before they grow up. At one point a little girl with big, blue eyes stares into the camera and says, “Don’t wait.” I don’t know who made that commercial, but that little girl did me in. She was right. Don’t wait. Don’t put off making memories. Don’t put off telling those special people that you love them. Don’t wait, because one day it will be too late. “Do your best to come before winter.” 


          Isn’t it interesting that what we tend to put off is the very stuff of which true life is made.


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