I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
“You mean ‘Single Awareness Day’,” Elliot responded.
I laughed, but, at the same time, knew that for some people this is a hard holiday.
I can remember being in grade school and having to make those little Valentine’s mail boxes that we set on our desks. The teachers told us multiple times to be sure to bring in a valentine for everyone in the class. Of course, I thought, why wouldn’t I bring one in for everyone? It was probably 3rd or 4th grade when I remember doing this. There were boys in my class who delighted in making body noises and I thought they were gross, but it didn’t occur to me that I shouldn’t bring them a valentine. I had brothers that made hand farts, armpit farts, and other farts, and I still loved them. Being gross didn’t disqualify one from being loved.
It wasn’t until this past Christmas that I fully grasped the whole valentine-at-school thing.
We’ve been attending our current church for about a year and a half. It’s small — generally under 100 people on a Sunday morning.
Last year on Mother’s Day, we didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day at church because it was “a hard holiday” as the pastor put it. I noticed a woman crying in the choir loft when the pastor said this and thought, She must be struggling with childlessness. I’m happy to report that she is pregnant now, but, at the time, I thought how good it was to be sensitive to how other people feel.
At Christmas, however, they set up a table for Christmas cards. There was a big bag where church members could deposit their Christmas cards and one lady after church would sort all the Christmas cards into piles for each family.
At first I thought, What a great idea! What a great way to save on postage for all these Christmas cards.
Then I noticed that some people had huge piles of cards, while others, like us, had either no pile at all or only one or two cards. In a flash, I understood Valentine’s Day in grade school.
I didn’t start crying. I didn’t even go home and cry. Now, at the age of 52, I understand so many more things. My worth isn’t based on the number of Christmas cards or Valentines that I receive. It isn’t based on how many children I have. It isn’t based on my career or my salary or the size of my house. It isn’t based on whether I am single or married. My worth is based on one thing — God loved me enough to send His Son to die for me. Everything else is gravy.
Eric Greitens, a Navy SEAL, in his book, The Heart and the Fist, said,
Alone, human beings can feel hunger. Alone, we can feel cold. Alone, we can feel pain. To feel poor, however, is something we do only in comparison to others.
So, today, no comparing with anyone else the number of Valentines you receive.
Know that you are loved by the Author of Love, and His Valentine is a Cross, not a heart.