Valentines day is arriving. It’s a day that fills even the most secure single people with at least a slight bit of annoyance. Because although for half of the world it is a day of reminder about the love they have for that special person in their lives, to the other half it is more of a “single awareness day” that reminds us we have no such person in our lives.
I remember when I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays. For some reason it was seriously almost right up there with Christmas for me. To this day I still can’t fully remember or explain why this holiday filled me with so much excitement.
Maybe it was because In elementary school, Valentine’s Day was done right, no one got left out.
You remember how it went, right? The night before valentines day I would spend hours pouring over my little purchased box of Valentines cards picking out the right ones for each of my classmates. Then I would fill the little envelopes with a few conversation hearts (this was way before any of them said things like “tweet me” or “see you on-line” by the way) or tape a red Hersey’s kiss to the outside. Then on THE day, a few hours were set aside so that everybody in class could make their own little Valentines card box. Then it began, the passing out of the cards. One by one everyone would make their way around the desks dropping little valentines wishes in each mail box. No picking and choosing, everyone received a Valentine from everyone in the class. Then you would sit at your desk and open each of the cards enjoying all the little treasures. I loved it! How could such simple little things like a tiny little card and a few pieces of candy fill me with such joy? All I know is that I remember no shame, no sadness, no longing for a significant other, cause that was not what I understood Valentine’s Day to be about yet.
Valentine’s Day to me was a simple day to show and receive a little bit of love to and from the people around you. It was pure and simple.
Of course as you get older, the day takes on new meaning. Jr. High is where I believe it stopped being so fun for me. No more Valentines day mailboxes. Friends now could pick and choose who they wanted to give cards and candy to. And to make it worse, there was always some club that sold these evil things called “Valentines Day Grahams.” These were little gifts that you could preorder to be delivered during class time to anyone you wanted to buy one for. They became a status symbol, people carried them around like trophies. The “cool kids” always had tons while the rest of us frantically arranged for a friend to send us one just so we wouldn’t feel left out.
Its so odd how the human race always seems to find a way to stratify itself, declaring some less worthy than others, most of the time without even realizing it.
Last night Nightlight did a Valentine’s Day outreach. A group of women from the states brought over valentines day cards and candy and made around 1000 little gift bags to hand out. We hit the streets of the red light district armed with these simple little gifts and began passing them out to the “working” women. We even entered the go-go bars and passed them out the girls dancing on the stage. I have never seen anyone so happy to receive such simple little gifts; they were ecstatic. The whole thing reminded me of elementary school Valentine’s Day again, the pure innocence of it all, that is. Valentine’s Day once again was turned into a day to share simple acts of love, no showing favorites, no coupling off, just simple acts of leveling love.
Before we went out that night we all spent some time in prayer together and I remembered someone saying “Thank you God for not showing favorites, you love everyone the same,” and it struck a chord in me.
God’s love is a leveling love.
God never leaves anyone out. And that is so powerful, because there is no other love like that. Its hard not to be in awe of Jesus’ limitless love that we freely receive by no merit of our own. Even in light of our blatant disobedience at times, He still loves us, that’s a love that can drop one to her knees if one would spend some time thinking about that reality.
So let this be an encouragement to you this Valentine’s Day as we reflect of the true meaning of Love:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4: 7-11