The grandchild has learned to say *I love you* without being prompted. There is nothing more endearing this side of paradise.

I found myself wondering what goes on in her mind when she says this, what she’s feeling and what she means by it. Words are still so new, she struggles to pronounce her own full name. What does a two-year-old know about love?

But then again, what does any of us really know? Can you explain it? We spend a lifetime practicing love, succeeding when we’re at our very best, and failing often despite our best intentions.

If you’ve lived a normal adult life and on top of that been to seminary, you will have read thousands of learned words on the subject of love, and yet you’d still feel challenged if you were asked to write a short sermon about it.

And then a two-year-old comes along and says *I love you,* and you get it, and you know she gets it, inarticulate as her understanding may be, because—forget thumbs and big brains—this is the very heart of what it means to be human.