The problem with that is that I really don't like Valentine's Day. I never did.
Back in the day when children gave valentines to certain chosen ones and not the whole class, I went home with a very small collection. I wasn't exactly Charlie Brown, but I certainly wasn't the most popular.
All of December, I battled what I thought was S.A.D. (Seasonal Affect Disorder). The problem with that is that it's so hard to diagnose. It could have been depression, or simply extreme sadness. It was around Christmas, when everything is supposed to be jolly and happy, and most of my memories of Christmas are not great. It seemed to lift in January; maybe it was more of a H.A.D. (Holiday Affect Disorder).
I was having a particularly rough day one day. I couldn't seem to stop crying, and I didn't even know what I was crying about. Every tiny thing that didn't go just right set me off.
I know it bothered the Hubster. Men don't like when their women cry. They can't fix it. Mine usually ignores it. Which, depending on the reason for the tears, can lead to more tears. Or not. No wonder he ignores it. He's probably afraid that I might pummel him or something.
At any rate, the next day, Hubster came home from work bearing flowers and a very appropriate Hallmark card. It wasn't gushy. It was funny/cute. He knew I needed to laugh, and he knew I needed to feel loved. (He also knew that as much as I would love and devour chocolate, I'd also cry over how fat I would continue to get having eaten said chocolate).
Those flowers, at a time when they were least expected, meant more to me than five dozen overpriced red roses on a required day.
That's why I don't like Valentine's Day. It's way overrated. Everything is overpriced. People's expectations are too often unrealistic, which can lead to severe disappointment and disillusionment.
And what about those who are not involved in a romantic relationship?
I remember when I was a single mom and the church I attended held a "couple's dinner" for Valentine's Day. I wasn't allowed to go because I was no longer a "couple." Being a divorced and single mom is difficult enough, but exclusion adds hurt to an already hurting soul.
So all the single women tend to get together and do something fun in order to forget about the special day that they just wish was over. I'm not sure if the single men do. I seem to know more single women.
I could talk about Jesus being the lover of our soul, our "husband" as it says in Isaiah 54:5, our all in all. And that is true. But honestly, some folks just don't want to hear all that...again. They just want to be included, and not shunned because they are not part of a "couple." People want to know that someone still cares about them...as an individual.
The fact is, there are a lot of people who are lonely.
- Single people who don't have a significant other to love on and receive love from.
- Married people who feel stuck or are ignored, abused or living with someone with an addiction who can't give that person the love he or she desperately desires or needs.
- People in a romantic relationship who know that the romance has grown cold, or that they're not with the "right" person, but choose to stay over being alone.
- Children who don't quite fit in to the norms of society and desperately desire a friend.
- Those who've lost a child, miscarried, or feel the pain of not being able to conceive.
- The divorced, who often feel judged by their status, and sometimes struggle with guilt.
- Widows and widowers who seem to feel the loss more on a holiday.
- The elderly, who vividly remember the time when they were young and vibrant, and are looking at their last days ahead, but everyone is too busy with their lives to visit.
- The homeless, who are so familiar with seeing faces of disgust and pity, but not genuine care.
- Parents of addicts.
Instead of preaching ABOUT Jesus to them, let's try to BE Jesus to them.
What can you do this weekend to brighten someone's life?
How can you show love, kindness and care to someone who is alone or feeling lonely?
And for those of you who fit into one of the above categories...I know who some of you are...I love you. And so many others do too. I may not be able to BE Jesus to you this weekend, I may not even talk to you this weekend, but you are loved nonetheless.
It's one day. It'll pass. And life will go on as usual.
But for some, the pain of loneliness won't pass with the passing of a holiday. We would do well to remember that.
Blessings Along the Path,
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