Happy Valentine’s Day! To some this phrase brings instant depression. To some not having a romantic love to enjoy this day with makes it a meaningless day. But I’d like to offer up a different perspective.
Growing up my parents made my sister and I feel special on Valentine’s with heart shaped boxes filled with candy. Mysteriously my sister’s never emptied but she was still eating candy. Hmm. 🙂 Everyone teased me because mine looked like a mouse had eaten them as little nibbles were taken out of the corners and the pieces put back. My reasoning had been that if it was a filling I didn’t like at least someone else could enjoy it.
So where am I going with this? How about giving Valentine’s Day a make-over? Webster’s dictionary defines valentine as “something expressing uncritical praise or affection, a tribute”. Our creation in the image of God, God’s sacrifice of Himself in the form Jesus’ death on the cross so that our relationship could be made complete again and eternal, the gift of His Spirit to be with us every moment of every day certainly qualifies as the best valentine.
We each have been given a valentine that is even better than a child’s cutout heart with a cute saying that makes you feel all warm inside. God is innately love, from the beginning to the end. The Gospel means good news. This news is love.
But rather than take from another’s stash (my sister’s childhood method) to keep our heart full or taking just little bites in order to not ruin it for someone else (my childhood method) how about we enjoy our whole heart as our own personal gift from God? Doing so will allow us to give more love to others and to help them enjoy the love they already have been given.
I cannot tell you have freeing, soothing, healing, and forgiving it has been in my life to know that Jesus loves me. “Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so.” There have been times I have struggled loving myself. I’ve closed my eyes and prayed, “Father, let me see me as you do.” The minute I opened my eyes I felt love.
Yesterday I spent the morning making soup with some wonderful people at our church to raise money for the hungry and needy. A good soup, especially on one of these cold wintery days, feeds the body. Later I thought of what we hunger for in life. Love. It is the ingredient we forget to add, don’t take the time to savor, inhale rather than sip and savor.
“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” – Isaiah 55:2 So listen, dear one. God loves you where you are and who you are RIGHT now. Accept that love and be filled with peace.