Close your eyes, take a deep breath. It’s Valentine’s Day nineteen-something-something. You’re back in grade school, sitting in your classroom at your desk as classmates take turns passing out handmade valentines. You remember them well. Paper doilies. Covered in glitter. Sticky from Elmer’s glue. This is before the days of Pinterest, before commercially printed Disney Princess and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle valentines, and before the days of “you must give one to everyone in the class”.
There you sit in hopeful anticipation. Your best friend places a valentine on your desk. Your teacher, of course, presents one to each student. The popular girl walks right by, just as you thought. You bite your lip anxiously as HE passes you…the cute boy who always smells like maple syrup. Did he give you a valentine? Did he choose you? Did your heart leap with each valentine you were given? Did it sink each time you were passed by? We long so deeply for to be loved, just like we longed for these valentines. We long to be CHOSEN.
Friends, open your eyes. There is one more valentine waiting. There it is right in front you. Pick it up, break the seal and slide it out of the envelope.
You are loved. Deeply and truly loved.
God loves you. And no matter who else leaves a valentine on your desk this Valentine’s Day, you can cling to that.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).
This trip back to school is not over yet, however. It looks like He’s giving us a little bit of homework. Just as He loves us, He calls us to love others.
Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)
Look around you. There are people everywhere longing to be loved. Longing to be chosen. Waiting for a valentine. This kind of love that He calls us to is beyond emotions and warm feelings, it’s love in action. What does this love look like?
It’s rushing over at a moment’s notice after the life-altering phone call.
It’s dropping everything to watch their kids or deliver a meal.
It’s a shoulder to cry on when everything is falling apart.
It’s rolling up your sleeves and digging in. It’s meeting someone in their mess.
It’s listening to. Crying with. Praying for.
Let’s step back into that classroom one more time. Your turn has come to pass out valentines. What are you going to do?