“Do you love me?”

This phrase enhances

all mystical depths and

countless nuances

down through

the centuries.

“Do you love me?”

“Simon, do you love me?”

Jesus asks Simon Peter,

walking along the seashore,

past nagging awkward shadows

of Simon’s cowardly denial,

“Peter, do you love me?”

“Do you love me?”

Tevye asks Golde, after 25 years

of marriage,

as they

fiddle on the roof

of volatile reverses,

eking out a living

in awkward Anatevka.

“Do you love me?”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

wrote to Robert,

“How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

I love thee

to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach….

I love thee freely….

I love thee purely….

I love thee with the

breath, smiles, tears

of all my life;

and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee

better after death.”

To know

that you have loved;

that you have been loved…

to know

that you remain loving;

to know,

even when deprived of love—

when tricked and betrayed

by lesser loves—

that you

love deeper still

without hesitation—

that, dear soul,

is to know

the deepest joy

of humankind.

So, says the Nazarene Lover,

“Let us

love one another

with depth

and integrity…

Love one another

as I have loved you.”

Hal Edwards


January 15, 2015