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Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

Most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, would do just about anything to get it.  We’ve starved ourselves for it, eaten ourselves into oblivion for lack of it, chased after it, played coy with it, shut it out and shut it up.  And we have paid dearly for it. 

That we would both crave and reject love is understandable.  The world has perverted it from every direction.  We can so easily be distracted from the still, small Voice that speaks the truth of it by the seductive lure of shiny-but-ultimately-phony promises.

Perhaps we are afraid of it.  We have felt its power.  We know the cost of it all too well.  Easier, we think, to ignore it, to feign apathy, to pretend that we wouldn’t bleed for it all over again if we could only find it pure and trustworthy.

The one thing we don’t seem to be able to do with it is receive it.

Our savvy eye scans for the “catch,” the “hook.”  We reason that if we take the bait, we will be caught, hooked, gasping for life. 

We refuse to believe that the purest form of it is free for the asking, that He has done the bleeding for us, that despite all the false representations of it we have purchased, it cannot be bought.

It can only be accepted with open hands.  It can only be held by the letting go of it.  It can only be stored by the sharing of it.  It can only be understood by the heart.

Beloved, you are not the caught.  You are the bought.  Cease the feverish search.

You are loved.

Truly, madly, deeply.

Loved.

 loved

“The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV)

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When my husband and I were dating, I waited in breathless anticipation for what he would bring me on Valentine’s Day, the Holiest of High Holy Days for romantics.  He’s not the most effusive guy around, but I knew I could expect a dozen roses, or something comparable.  That was then…

A few Valentine’s Days of married life later, he presented me with a plastic bag tied around some thorny twigs and said, “I brought you roses for Valentine’s Day!” 

Ah.  Apparently, after you get married, you have to grow your own roses.

Don’t come down too hard on the guy.  He was being vigilant about our spending, and he did make a date with me to plant the twig… I mean, rose bush.  This was his way of showing love for me.  He was looking out for our finances (his way of protecting me), he came up with a unique gift (his way of keeping me guessing), and he made a date with me (his way of saying that he likes to spend time with me).  This was the Valentine’s Day that I learned that real love doesn’t come from Hallmark.

Real love doesn’t wait in breathless anticipation for what it will get, but what it will give.  Real love sweats and digs in the dirt to make a space for roses that will bloom every year.  Real love happens every day of the year, not just on February 14th.  And real love will sacrifice everything with selfless abandon for another.

I am receiving a huge valentine this year – and receiving is different than getting.  God has offered this down-in-the-dirt sacrificial love to me over and over, but I have only half-heartedly received it, accepted it, claimed it for my own.  I am only now daring to peek inside the envelope, the one I thought was addressed to someone else, the one marked “Beloved.”

We are all looking for this kind of love, though we are reluctant to admit it.  Trouble is, we look in the wrong places, and expect other people to fill the God-sized hole in our hearts.  I have been looking for roses and chocolates.  All the while, He’s been sending valentines by the millions, red hearts falling from heaven like snow. 

Hey, here’s one with your name on it! 

Same name as mine –  

Beloved.

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