One day, once a year, set aside for the sole purpose of focusing…
A day to give of oneself to another. To give of our love more richly… deeply.
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22
Contrary to popular belief, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples. It isn’t just for those “in love” either. At least it shouldn’t be. It can be man to woman, or woman to man… or it could be parent to child, brother to sister, and friend to friend.
It is a day that is recognized as one in which more than the usual amount of affection is poured from our hearts… or pockets.
I used to sit around on such a day and long for the phone to ring or the doorbell to chime, imagining my prince charming on the other side with red roses in hand. Most times, I was disappointed.
One year I was astonished to receive a beautiful card, a box of candy and a gorgeous balloon with a rose in it. I studied the card for what must have been hours. The giver had taken pains to etch my name in beautiful calligraphy on the envelope and it took me days to believe it wasn’t a prank, but a sweet gesture by a dear friend. A male friend.
The next year he presented the gifts in person, so I had no chance to wonder about the validity and sincerity of the gift, but simply delight in receiving it.
The third year I was again anxiously awaiting a phone call or knock at the door. Just like any other young girl on Valentine’s Day. But I was naturally disenchanted as the evening grew late and I received no visitor.
Another year I packed up and went to the beach, strolling the sands, hoping to see sweet love notes written in the sand and lovers walking along the shoreline. I decided to just enjoy those around me who were enjoying one another without being disheartened by what I felt to be lacking in my own life.
Last year, I had no room in my heart to even think about the significance of the day. Two days prior to Valentine’s Day my dearly loved pet had to be put to sleep after a couple months of fighting disease and I was in no condition to greet the holiday as a sentimental young woman.
The very day after the loss of my pet, my parents gifted me with all sort of beautiful things significant to Valentine’s Day and warmed my aching heart considerably.
Valentine’s Day can be a day to express our love in the traditional way…
…Or it can be a day to reach out to those who are hurting… those who are in need of companionship… those who are lonely… or those who are doing their best to keep their sagging spirits up after a day of nervous excitement and dashed dreams and would be cheered considerably if a friend were to stop by with a small offering and kind word.
Though the boy who brought me gifts was not a lover but a friend, I counted the gifts as just as special, perhaps more so because it wasn’t “required.”
I saved a chocolate heart from the box of candy for at least two years. And I still have the card in which he etched my name so beautifully. And will have… for a long, long time.
Image courtesy of Polyvore.com.