For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
Valentine's Day looms on the horizon, seducing us with all its red, pink, white, heart-shaped candy glory and regalia of holiday promotions. For many, Valentine's Day is THE coveted celebration of romantic love. Roses, chocolates, candlelight dinners, personal gifts exchanged, and all shared with that special, irreplaceable person of our dreams who has chosen us as a beloved partner.
But for so many others, Valentine's Day heralds sadness, loss and loneliness. A relationship on the rocks. A spouse who succumbed to cancer. Divorce tearing at the fabric of a once-whole heart shared. People living alone and feeling the pain of isolation, so in need of a loving thought, a caring word.
A heartfelt prayer.
What can you and I do to ease those moments for others who are not in a position to view Valentine's Day in an optimistic, promising light?
Although the list could be endless, here are a few suggestions to brighten someone's Valentine's Day:
- Send e-cards or real cards to friends and family members who may be feeling down and alone. Share your unique thoughts about how much they are loved and appreciated by you.
- Bake cookies or other specialties and have your children or grandchildren deliver to the neighbors.
- Buy a pack of "kids' valentines," and pass them out to persons who serve you in your local bank, grocery or other retail store.
- Surprise co-workers with a small box of candy and a note expressing your thankfulness for them.
- Buy a bouquet of roses (any flower will do) and stand on a busy street corner to pass them out one at a time. Might not hurt if you have place a tag that reads "Jesus loves you" on each one!
- Check with your church to find out who in the congregation might be in need of an extra dose of comfort or encouragement, and follow through according to their needs.
These are just some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. Yes, I can almost see your minds and hearts whirling imaginatively as you envision how to make someone's Valentine's Day a special one.
May God bless you in it all as you seek to shine His love into this hurting world.
Did you find any of the suggestions above appealing to you? Did you come up with more ideas to share God's love?
Prayer: Father, it is because You first loved us that we are able to love others. Let us demonstrate Your gift of love on this Valentine's Day to the lonely and the brokenhearted. May they see the light of Your gracious, eternal love through our words and deeds. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.