FIREPLACES, just the image of them, usually project the idea of cosiness, but my friend’s (pictured above) exudes warmth. And not only does that fit with her personality, warmth fits as a metaphor for an unconquerable love.
Whenever I think of warmth as a metaphor for love I always think of Carl Rogers, the founder of person-centred counselling. He would say that three components go into effective counselling outcomes: warmth, empathy and congruence. Warmth, for him, was simply a matter of being warm with his client so that, together with empathy and congruence, they could establish a special caring relationship implicit with safety and trust, where both could enter into partnership in the business of the client’s healing.
Warmth goes a long way toward helping us be empathic, and to feel congruent (on the same page) with another person who is in our presence. None of this can be taken for granted; it all involves a lot of work — a labour of love.
But, if it’s a loving thing, what exactly is warmth?
Warmth as an Expressed Kindness of Love
As Warmth strolls into the room, we immediately feel safe and at ease, for warmth is inherently respectful, perceptive and considerate.
Warmth makes everyone feel valued and honoured and special; it is the epitome of love.
When love abounds in the totality of warmth, it projects a hearty heat that warms the soul.
As love radiates its warmth throughout the space of a room, the heat conducts a healing relational energy, and people are freed to be themselves, in order to enquire of God, “What more?” Oh, what a relief from a frigidly cool atmosphere where people are never and nowhere home; where tenterhooks are the norm.
Love penetrates through the whispers of secrets to a place where facts can be known and fear is subjugated to a place we no longer ever need visit again; carried off to the land of Shinar (Zechariah 5:11).
Warmth is an expressed kindness known as a manifestation of love; and we all know that warm person who, like the fireplace, warms us from the inside out. We’re safe in their presence! And we’re dutiful and obedient to thank God for them!
Love is jealous for nothing except for the missed opportunity whereby its warmth could otherwise have reached in and facilitated a healing moment.
And serious warmth has no reason to fear that the relationship in question could ever approach something inappropriate — to defy the glory of God would be to cool the warmth of love, and what is by nature, warm, must stay warm. So Warmth seeks beyond itself, for God, in every matter under the sun.
Warmth is the beauty of love, the gentleness of attentive care, the concern for the other, and the comfort of God.
If we were to set our hearts to love, let us set our minds to being warm persons.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.