I like Valentine's Day; I always have... but not for the reasons that most people look for it. It's a holiday manufactured to sell greeting cards and chocolate, to promote red and pink color awareness, and to craft an illusion of romantic fantasy and the 'all is right with the world' facade between couples everywhere. Wow, I'm a cynic! (Anyone surprised?)
For me, however, Valentine's Day is nothing more than a day and, much like Christmas or Easter, it gets a lot of hype and commercialism. And this generally overshadows the value of the holiday.
Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love -- and I don't just mean little arrows being shot from naked angel babies. I mean love... the kind of love that I have for my husband, the kind I have for my children, the kind I have for my close friends and family, and even the kind that I have for the hurting and dying people that surround me on this planet -- including those who hate me.
The greatest gift we can give... is Love. Jesus told his disciples and the crowds around him that Love was the most important thing -- the one law under which all other laws could fall. It's simple... Love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself. And you can't do one without the other two. And we make it so difficult.
And what is love? Jesus himself was the example: sacrificing everything you are for another (heart, soul, mind, and body/strength). Wow... that's almost dark if you think about it too long (so I don't recommend it).
So... I love Valentine's Day for the simple fact that it reminds me to celebrate love... not just on one day of the year, but on EVERY day of the year. To sacrifice all that I am for those around me. To step outside of myself and my desires... and truly be for someone what they need me to be, in the moment that they need it.
Do I succeed every time? Hell no. I'm human.
Will I die trying? You bet.
Will I see this in perfection on this earth? Probably not.
Will that scare me into walking away from something because it looks different than I expect it to? I certainly hope not. I wanna think I'm stronger than that.
Will I spend the rest of my life trying to figure out what all this looks like? Most assuredly.
There's so little I'm certain of anymore, but I do know this: GOD is LOVE. LOVE is GOD. I'm made in the image of the "Great Romancer" and my desire is that (s)he will love through me with a perfect love. Personally, I'm excited to see what that looks like.
To all of you on Valentine's Day, this is my wish for you:
May the God of Love and Grace shower her passion on you today and everyday, that you may live in the fullness and understanding of being made in the image of the Great Romancer.Happy Valentine's Day!