Feeling a bit sleepy form the warm and toasty room, I leaned up against the wall and allowed my lazy eyelids to shut out the view before me. The distinctive sound of children at work filtered into my ears. Snip, snip, snip – scissors sliced through the stiff construction paper. Pop-ush, pop-ush – glue stick caps were being pulled off, or put on. Scratch, scrape, scribble -- pencils and crayons were being manipulated by small fingers as they worked out little love messages on the red and white construction paper.

Coming to attention once more, I blinked my eyes several times, stifled a yawn and surveyed the room. Scraps of red and white construction paper littered the floor, along with silver and gold glitter sprinkled here and there. Our homeschool co-op children were making their own unique Valentine Day cards. They wanted to convey to that one special person in their life just how much they cared. Each child was so engrossed in his or her work that no one noticed the question -- except me. From somewhere among the children a little voice asked, "How do I draw love?" The question wasn't posed to anyone in particular. It was just simply stated.

As the mystery of that question broke into the stale calm of my brain, I was dumbfounded. How would I describe love? To my utter amazement I realized that I couldn't even find the words to give it a solid meaning, let alone draw it. Of course, at this time of year, there are big red construction paper hearts with frilly lace, a little glitter and maybe even some cupids here and there. Oh, and we can't forget the ever-present, pastel colored, heart shaped candies, with all the cute little quotes. But, does this really convey what love is?

The dictionary was my next thought. I grabbed it off the shelf and pawed through it until my eager eyes spied the word. The definition for love was: "A feeling of strong personal attachment." Hum… That wasn't much help. How can I draw "a feeling of strong personal attachment?" With the dictionary dangling from my lap, I continued to ponder, "How do I draw love?" Such a simple question, but the answer wasn't simple at all. In fact, this mystery would occupy my mind for days. How do I draw love?!

Some time later, weary from puzzling over this perplexing question, I sensed God's gentle hand guiding my thoughts into the Bible. It tells me that "God is love." So, how do I draw God? Can I draw God? Well -- no -- I can't draw God. Ok, so if I can't draw God, can I know who God is? As I searched through the file cabinets of my brain, I remembered that God's love for us is unconditional. But, how do I draw unconditional love?

Then, all of a sudden it hit me! The palm of my hand smacked the top of my forehead as I uttered, "Oy vay! Of course! That's it! That's where the arrow in the heart comes into play." Remember the arrow through the heart that you always see on Valentine Day cards? God's heart was pierced when Adam & Eve chose the sin which separated them from Him. That's why He gave up His sinless Son for all of us. The crucifixion is a true picture of unconditional love; no strings attached. It's love given freely, even though it might get walked on, like the scattered scraps of red and white construction paper. A true picture of unconditional love was Jesus on the cross.

But, does it end there? God was not allowing my mind to rest. Like looking into a mirror, this new understanding was reflected back into my heart. In the quiet of my mind I had to ask, "Do I love the people in my life unconditionally? Am I allowing God's love to shine out from me?" Of course, if I'm truthful, my answer is a pitiful -- No. I don't give love unconditionally. My heart is just red construction paper without the arrow of submission to God. It might have a bit of frilly lace that I've tried to stick on it, but that's not what God really wants.

So, how do I draw love? Well -- a true picture of love isn't within my ability to draw. The true picture of love takes time, and it has two parts. First, it starts in my heart. My heart must have God's arrow of submission piercing through it. Secondly, (and only if the first part has happened) I'll begin to display God's unconditional love to others in my outward actions. Like most people, I didn't want to be submissive to God, but only when I give up my will and accept His will can God's unconditional love shine from me. This is, and continues to be, an ongoing lesson, which keeps me firmly planted in God's homeschool.

Homeschooling, speaking and writing are among Nancy's passions. She lives in Mount Vernon, WA, with her husband of 18 years, and together they have homeschooled their three adopted children since 1995. You may contact her through her web site at www.divineheritage.net.