Today is Valentine’s Day. A day that brings joy to some people, and stress to others. My cynical friends will say that it is just a day for merchants to sell more merchandise, and indeed I noticed the flower prices in my local grocery store went up substantially the week before Valentine’s Day hit. But my more romantic friends will anticipate receiving flowers, candy, or any number of things to celebrate their love.
The first year after my husband died, I found Valentine’s Day a difficult holiday to face. Now the thing is, it had never been a big deal day in our home. We didn’t do fancy dinners, or spend unnecessary money on a dozen roses. We were lucky if we gave each other cards some years. But we were together, and we loved each other. There was something about that security of knowing someone loves you and that you love someone that makes the day special. After he died, I found myself longing to be back where we were. But you cannot go back, you can only go forward.
For the single person who has never known the love of a spouse, for the widow or widower who has lost their loved one, or for the ones who find themselves in a difficult marriage and wondering if love will ever be theirs again, Valentine’s Day can be burdensome.
So you find ways to cope and find joy in the day. For me, it is taking joy in sending cards to my grandkids–although I must confess, somehow I missed doing that this year! The joy comes in watching other couples celebrate the day and being glad they are able to celebrate. The joy comes in not letting jealousy or envy get in the way of being happy for others who have found love and stayed the course in their relationships. Believe me, it took me a while to decide I would find the joy in the day instead of being envious of those who had their Valentine.
The joy also comes in knowing that I have the ultimate love, the best Valentine a person can ever receive, in the love of Jesus Christ. When God sent his son, it was like he was sending his Valentine to the world (I know that is not a theological concept, but I am just making a point here.). And for me, thinking about love, only leads me to think about Jesus. The lover of my soul. The rose of Sharon. The person who laid his life down for me. The one who was the Word when God created the very flowers we give as gifts. So Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. May you celebrate knowing that no matter where you are, no matter how alone you feel, God’s Love is the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift.