In two weeks it will be Valentine’s Day. This little holiday produces such a vast array of reactions. Hope, fear, excitement, disappointment, joy, grief, feigned apathy . . . I’ve been in all of those categories. I’m attempting to take a proactive approach this year to take the bite out of a holiday that, for me, has come with sharp edges over the years.
In middle school, who didn’t want to get balloons and carnations delivered to your class? How heartbreaking is it for the scrawny little 7th grader with an empty desk, yearning for the days of elementary school when everyone getting a valentine was mandatory?
In high school it always happened that I was not dating anyone on Valentine’s Day. Bummer. So, no wilting carnations, helium-filled balloons, plastic wrapped chocolates or dollar store stuffed animals . . . oh c’mon, high school boys have no money! It was not that much of a let down at that point in time. 😉
In college I decided to try the feigned apathy approach, making fun of conversation hearts and even renaming the holiday S.A.D. “Single Awareness Day.”
And throughout my adult life so far, it has not been much better. As comedian Jim Gaffigan tweeted this week, “How about a holiday all about awkwardness and failed expectations?” – pitch for Valentines Day.” That about sums up my experience.
Now here we are again. Another February, and just what do I do with Valentine’s Day? My plans so far do not include pouting, whining or feeling sorry for myself. How about using it as a day to uber-focus on loving others? Random acts of kindness? Extreme gratitude?
How about a Valentine’s to reflect on the greatest act of love every expressed on this earth – the cross. God’s only son dying for wicked, ungrateful people so that we might live? A love so mysterious and so divine, so unfathomable and crazy. A love that cannot, could not ever be expressed in a Hallmark card. Amazing love.
So friend, if you’re like me and are expecting an empty mailbox February 14th, take heart. “For God so loved YOU that He gave His one and only son so that whoever believes in Him might not perish but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
THAT is better than any heart-shaped box of candy, any day, I guarantee it.