This is the first year that I’ve really been excited about Valentine’s Day and all the fun opportunities leading up to it. Cyberspace is aglow with ideas: fun ideas, mushy ideas, silly ideas, romantic ideas, hot ideas, you name it and it’s there. Being married has opened a new and wonderful world to me. I wanted to celebrate!
But I was taken aback by the attitudes I’ve found. I hadn’t realized that there was so much negativity surrounding Valentines’ Day until recently. I’m not sure which is sadder, that so many people have had such disappointing moments surrounding this particular day and what it stands for, or whether a holiday dedicated to celebrating love is viewed so negatively by so many.
I guess, mostly, I just wanted to say, yeah, there is a lot of hurt that can come from relationships. Breakups, separations, disappointments, rejections and more color our view of love and lead us into the dark world of cynicism. We’re in danger of refusing to love or allow ourselves to be loved again. We refuse to hope or allow others to hope. We’re in peril of entombing our heart in cold stone. As C.S. Lewis said:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
(photo from Jo Naylor)
Love itself isn’t bad. Love isn’t the one to blame, nor should we blame the day set aside for remembering and celebrating love. Love is something beautiful, enduring, pure, and needed. (Before you think I’m a hopeless, naive romantic, let me assure you that I’ve faced my own set of hurts and disappointments…of which I do not care to relive or dwell on.) Love, true love, comes from God. It’s unlike anything you’ve experienced elsewhere. It doesn’t leave us empty or angry or disappointed. The only thing it does do is fill us with forgiveness, hope, peace, and a desperate longing to get closer to the one who loves us, Jesus Christ.
As a final thought, I didn’t mean to get preachy here, and if I have, I apologize. After seeing so much negativity and hearing the hurt and disappointment through so many masks of cynicism, I couldn’t help but want to bring the other side of the story too. I know what hurt is and I know what healing is, and I know who Love is. I’m celebrating Valentines’ day and not ashamed of it.
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