So much of the world is a winter wonderland as we journey on through February. Lovers have exchanged Valentines and promises of forever that many of them will not keep. Beneath the pink and red candy coating may be melting chocolate and as the roses wither and die, so does the devotion in far too many instances. All this Hallmark materialism and pricey pomp and circumstance is a gaudy distraction from the one love that is faithful and true that has the power to make your love real if you will follow His plan.
After the roses have died and the chocolate has melted — after the money has been squandered in an effort to diagram a mathematical equation that equals “I love you so much that I spent this number of dollars on you” — after the buzz of the champagne fades and the passion rubs its sleepy eyes and falls asleep drooling– after all this remains the simple, thrifty testament of love that is a child’s valentine to a parent.
Pink and red hearts cut from cardboard and sloppily pasted together and bordered with frilly white paper lace. “I Love You” written in uneven and inconsistent scrawl across the front and through the messy paste. Perhaps a photo of a smiling face sans a tooth or two is applied in a crooked fashion, with excessive glue or paste seeping out from the borders to highlight the imperfect craftsmanship that was diligently invested into this economical monument to a child’s love for mommy and daddy. This is a simple, striking creation that no professional artist could ever render because the most important ingredient of this innocent, untarnished masterpiece is in fact that individual child’s unconditional love for his or her parents.
We wayfare on down the path through time, which for now is snow covered and a tad slippery. The cold, persistent February breeze swirls about us and like fallen red and pink leaves the occasional child’s valentine blows past, twirling and bouncing on its way until the breeze carries it into a bush or tree; whereby ending its journey. We are compelled to stop, walk back that short way and pluck the valentine from its sudden resting place. It’s funny how we can remember that particular February when this little, imperfect work of art was first handed to us by its smiling creator. We recall the beaming anticipation on that little face that only wanted our approval. In this moment we are stricken with the desire to walk back to Februarys past but those Februarys are no longer there waiting for us. Those Februarys are gone forever. So, we gaze at the valentine memory, we see the smiling little face, we place that tiny testament of love into our pocket, we wipe that salty tear before it freezes, and we wayfare onward.
Now is not a time for regrets and second guessing. We are burning daylight as February’s sun is soon to set. Do you hear the call? Is your heart being moved? I don’t mean your three dollar and ninety-nine cent Valentine heart and its professional prose written to say exactly what you think you should be feeling. This is a matter of your heart and your spirit. This is a matter of genuine, unfickle love like that of a child and not rested on romantic platitudes, red lingerie, and supposed to do’s. There is a love, a real love whose roses never die…
There is the lover of our souls who said “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” In that, this lover of our souls has more love and tenderness in Him than the very best of and most mature of us adults.
This lover of our souls will guide us through all of the difficulties that human love and relations will present — but only if we ask Him to, and we are wise to seek His council. This lover of our souls will enable us truly love our children and guide them in His ways, which are far better than our ways. We will love our children with the wide-eyed innocence in which they love us. We will love them like He loves us; with a love that has no threshold, no bottom and no top.
This lover of our souls gave us a Valentine that cannot be rivaled by the works of any trained human hands and sold at your local discount retailer; for in Him our souls are made. And unlike our flawed works which will never save us from our inherent sinfulness, His works are perfect. He gave us a Valentine that will not wither and fade or end up being tossed into a desk drawer with all of the other supposed forget-me-nots. His Valentine gift to us was indeed red — and it was His blood.
His is a promise of forever that He will keep. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of your life in my life to eternity with you — long after February is gone. Life everlasting. Life eternal.