Tuesday, February 11, 2020

When you're hurting on Valentine's Day

Lace doilies and red paper hearts can bring conflicting emotions.

For some, Valentine's Day is full of fun and celebration.

For others, it evokes the sting of being left behind or left out. It may seem as if everyone in the whole world is celebrating love but us when the heart aches and the chair beside us is empty.

As I pondered this, I kept coming back to the familiar I Corinthians 13, where we read, “Love never fails.” The word translated love here and throughout chapter thirteen is Agape in the Greek. It is the same word used in I John 4, which reads, “God is love.” Love is a person and that person tells us in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave us or forsake us. No matter what may happen with earthly relationships, there is an eternal love that transcends them.

I hesitated to write about this today, because Jerry and I are so blessed to be together, and I don’t want to come off as offering pat answers, but I have friends who are suffering the fresh wound of facing life without someone they love. I couldn’t forget about them. We need to say, God loves you, dear ones. You are not forgotten.

I remember speaking with a friend years ago after she lost her spouse and she felt so exposed and vulnerable after his passing. Raw in this world. That kind of grief and pain is hard to navigate and harder still to have hope that one could ever feel differently or find healing. Others who long for mates have yet to find them and maybe wonder if they will. Valentine’s Day can be a reminder of that. But the One whose essence is love is our next breath. All of us face a future where loss is possible and we are only able to move into it by knowing that Jesus will go with us. Jesus loves us.

So, if we’re still walking hand in hand with a beloved one here on earth, it would be good to remember those for whom Valentine’s Day is a challenge. Send an extra card or two. Let's spread Agape around.

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