I can remember a Valentine’s Day when I was in grade school. Actually my most vivid memory was of two nights before that Valentine’s. I was certain that I needed a boyfriend for the big day. There was a good prospect in the making, and I was on the phone with my friend-the third party-who was going to make it happen. Eventually, she worked her matchmaking magic and the prospect and I were on the phone together in a very awkward conversation. He asked if I would ‘go out’ with him and of course I said, ‘YES!’ I was so excited. This was exactly what I wanted– a boyfriend just in time for the big HEART day.
The day came and I waited nearly all day at school wondering when my gift would arrive. Just when I was about to lose hope and decide it was time to break up, he arrived to my homeroom with a huge garbage bag tied with a red bow. I was a bit embarrassed but opened it just the same, and found an enormous white stuffed dog inside. At last-I’d finally gotten all I’d wanted-all eyes on me, a ‘committed boyfriend’, and a huge white ball of fluff.
Apart from the last few years, that was actually one of the few Valentine’s in my growing up years that I had a ‘true love’ to share with. Most of the time, the day was quite a downer for me and even that particular day wasn’t quite all I’d hoped for. Even these days, though my husband does a great job, I’m often more entranced with my ideals and dreams of Valentine-esque love than I am with my reality.
And considering the fact that I actually have a husband to share this LOVE day with and two little kiddos to call my own, I wonder how much more the day must be a let down or disappointment for others who have less arms surrounding them.
So, this year, for Valentine’s, instead of setting up the day to be all I’ve dreamed…my thought is to proactively reach out to others with a message of love. And not just those who will send the same message my way.
Jesus’ words in Luke 14 often haunt me when it comes to doing nice things for people. I’m sure this passage will come up many times here at Burningbushes. (I think about it often though obey it poorly.) Jesus said that the real blessing in blessing others is doing so for those who can’t bless you back. I don’t know about you, but this is not my tendency (as I wrote previously in the post about Thai food). The easier thing is for me to love on and give to my family, my friends who are like me, or others who are a step beyond me (those I hope will become my friends someday).
So, this Valentine’s, I’m going to try and take one step in the Luke 14 direction by giving a simple card (this is a great link to lots of good art project ideas) and maybe a little homemade goodie to some neighbors and acquaintances who aren’t exactly like me and who may not have the means to bless me in return. It’s nothing huge, but it’s a step in the right direction and hopefully a move away from the ‘I sure hope someone does something nice for me this Valentine’s’ mindset.
Of course, I’ll try to do some nice things for friends and family, too. But, my priority is to plan further ahead and do more than what’s expected. I want to use this silly little holiday to start obeying one of Jesus’ commands.
How about you? What ways can you think of to redeem this holiday? Let’s be honest–very few of you guys are sending comments these days. Do you really think I just write a question at the bottom to ease my conscience and pretend that I want to hear from you? No, I’d really love a little feedback here. So, come on, just a few more minutes and tell me what you think.
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