It begins almost as soon as the last Christmas tree is put away. The stores, magazines and blogosphere become covered with red and pink hearts. The tv commercials tells us how to “really” show someone how much we love them.
I can get a bit nervous about all of this. What if I don’t make that fabulous Steak du Proivre and grilled asparagus? (Which, by the way, my husband will tell you every time, no matter how fancy the setting, that asparagus will make your pee smell. We’re classy like that.) My dining room table, that should be set in a romantic decor, is still covered in science fair materials. And I think the only candles I have are orange and brown from Thanksgiving. I worry that I won’t be able to show my family and friends how much I love them.
One year I babysat the children living at the homeless shelter, while their mothers enjoyed an evening out at a local church. I brought along some craft supplies to make Valentines cards for each of the women. The children cut, glued and glittered. We displayed the cards around the room.
As the women came in the door from their evening out, they shrieked with joy when they saw their name on a card. The ladies cried and many said they had never gotten a Valentine’s card before.
I got teary eyed watching the reactions.
So how do I show my family how much I love them? Is it in the fancy card? Elegant meal? Maybe. Especially if I knew how to cook and this was a talent of mine. But I think I need to just look at the way Jesus loved. He loved fully, without judgement, whole heartedly, with warmth and compassion. Instead of worrying about how I might compare with the world’s take on love, I will love my family without fear and with all of my soul.
Part two tomorrow.