A Message in a Bottle


I love you.

Yes, you, the person who is reading my words right now. Odds are I don’t know you, and I probably never will. I don’t know your name. If I saw you in a crowd I wouldn’t be able to pick out your face, your smile, your eyes. I wouldn’t recognize you to go up and give you a hug or ask how your kids are doing. I don’t know any of the things about you that make us different. But I know the one thing that makes us the same, the one thing that ties us together. You are a person, unique, beautiful, and precious.

And I love you

I don’t know what race you are, or what political party you identify with. I don’t know if you are an only child, or one of a dozen siblings. I don’t know the sound of your voice or the smell of the pillow on your side of the bed. I don’t know if you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or anything in between. I don’t know your sexual preference, your gender, or your sex.

I love you.

I know that you’ve been hurt, and that you’ve hurt someone. You’ve been driven to tears in anger and in joy, laughed so hard your side hurt, and cried until you thought your tears would run dry. You’ve lost someone, and someone has lost you. I know that at times you feel a part of something larger, something greater than yourself; that vast sea of humanity we all swim in together. And I know at times you feel utterly and tragically alone.

I love you.

We’ll never agree on everything. There will always be questions that you find a different answer to than I do. Our common ground may be as small as a single grain of sand, and that’s okay. You don’t have to agree with me, you don’t have to sacrifice your opinions, beliefs, or anything else. You don’t have to change, and neither do I. There’s nothing you can do, nothing you can say that will drive me to turn my heart to stone against you.

I love you.

I don’t know the scars you carry or the pain you hold inside. I don’t know your fears, your hopes, your dreams. I don’t know if you’ve ever stood at the shore and looked out at the sea, overwhelmed by the vastness of creation and your own small part in it. I don’t know if you’ve ever put your hand on the stone outcrop of a mountain’s face and felt the slow, cold passage of the ages beneath your fingers. I don’t know the words you whisper in the darkness, when no one is there to hear them.

I love you.

Never let yourself be convinced by the world that you are insignificant or that you don’t matter. Don’t ever think you are alone, cast off, discarded by everyone and everything around you. I want you to know that you are loved, and that you are important. You matter, you have value, and you are loved. Whatever differences or divisions the world seeks to place between us don’t matter. They aren’t real and they could never overcome the one thing that unites us, the one thing that binds us together more tightly than even the weight of the world can break. We are brothers and sisters, you and I; members of the same extended family. We are people, human beings, and that is a bond that cannot be broken by any words or labels.

I love you.

And I am praying for you.


2 thoughts on “A Message in a Bottle

    • Thank you, Rick. Seems like so many things these days are divisive and people get combative at the drop of a hat. I really think people need to recognize love is bigger than just agreement or liking someone. It’s about respect for an individual, valuing that individual, and consciously refusing to let go of that, no matter what.

      It’s not just a noun, it’s very much a verb.


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