A Lenten Valentine: How do I love thee?
I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day, never have been. Not sure why. I guess it’s mainly due to the commercial craziness of it and the push from retailers to give extravagant gifts as an expression of love. I’ll take flowers for no reason over roses on a forced holiday any time. Can I have two Ash Wednesdays instead? I know, weird, right? That’s why you love me. I’ll be expecting an extravagant gift by lunchtime.
Back when Noah was in preschool he gave me a Valentine that still hangs in our family room. It was a kind of mixed-media painting/collage he’d made in an art class he took each week. I call it Ash Wednesday Valentine. You can see it here. He made me a big heart but put an ashy smudge across the top of it to signify the start of Lent falling at the same time. I love that kid. Not only does that painting say so much about Noah; it says so much about Noah’s understanding of his mother, even from the earliest age.
I wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Whether you go for the whole nine yards — chocolates, flowers, perfume, diamonds — or prefer something more subtle and less flashy, remember one thing: You are loved even if you don’t celebrate at all.
From before all time and for all eternity God loves you beyond anything our little human minds can measure with hearts and flowers. Now that’s a Valentine.