Feb 14, 2014

Don't be a hater.

On a day known for sappy Halmark cards and gushing Facebook posts, you did know about this guy St. Valentine right?  Yep, this is what the day actually commemorates (insert ecard joke).  Makes your heart just feel like mushy gushy puddles, right?  Wait, don't stop reading, because I'm actually not a hater of Valentine's Day.  Call me a realist.  
Can I introduce you to this guy named Valentine?  There are several legends, but most certainly the above is true.  He was a martyr during Roman times and he had serious cahonies.  The two most persistent legends about him were as follows.  
The Roman Emperor Claudias was staging a particularly bloody campaign and (understandably) had trouble recruiting soldiers (gee, I can't imagine why).  He thought that perhaps it was because they didn't want to leave loved ones (or maybe they just didn't want to die a bloody death, I'm thinking), and therefore, abolished weddings and marriage.  Valentine was a Christian who honored marriage and so he married men and women in secret.
The second persistent legend is that after he was caught, he was thrown in jail where he cared for sick and wounded because he was also something of a doctor.  The jailer just happened to be a cousin of Claudius. (Dun, dun, dun - I tell you, real life doesn't work out like this.  I'm thinking this legend is a little skewed/fake, but whatev, it's still pretty great) Also, the jailer had a daughter who was blind from birth and Valentine and the daughter struck up a friendship.  The daughter shared how her worship and sacrifice to the Roman gods did not heal her eyesight.  Valentine shared with her the gospel and she believed along with the jailer and his family.  Sometimes legend says that her eyesight was restored but I'm not so sure that wasn't made up right after he was "sainted".  People like to attribute miracles to saints and miss the main miracle of salvation.  At any rate, when he was taken away to be beheaded (on February 14th) he asked to write the daughter a note.  The note said, "Always stay close to the Lord my dear child.  Love, Your Valentine."  So there you have it.  The first valentine.  It wasn't a mushy gushy one to be sure, but I think it is the best kind.

A couple of things strike me here with this legend and all.  Somebody thought honoring marriage and family was worth death - and he was single.  This was not a hater here, people. AND: Somebody showed love for an enemy when the reality of losing his noggin was imminent. 
I'm actually kinda thankful that this Valentine wasn't about a fat toddler shooting arrows, nor was it about his own lover, but about supporting marriage and family in others.  That tells me this day isn't just for lovers, though couples would do well to honor marriage and family on this day as well.  Something greater is here than "a kiss begins with Kay" (which, um, no it doesn't in my world, so Tone, don't try it).

So let me say this:  Let me honor the love you are showing to those around you on this day.
Are you a parent:  I honor the work you are doing much of the time in secret, pouring your heart and soul into those little people who can act decidedly NOT like a sweet cherub.  
Are you married:  This ain't just another day, baby!  Honor that spouse.  Marriage is not for the faint of heart.  I'm sure you figured that out about 10 seconds into your honeymoon, and now you're working out the day in and day out nitty gritty.  I honor you for working it out, hanging in there and choosing love.
Are you single:  Don't be a hater.  Valentine was single. This is day is about love, but honoring all kinds, not just married love.  Valentine's last words were to a blind daughter of his enemy.  That wasn't a cheap mushy gushy Halmark card.  I honor you for the way you support your friends, love your family, and express love in the myriad of forms it can take.
Are you hurting:  I honor you for getting up everyday, leaning into Jesus, and taking in great gulps of His love as you move through life with only His love and hope for a motor.

Our day began with Tone in LA working and some homemade decorations (brought to you by Ainsley herself) and valentines and some candy for the kids on the table.  Tone and I have been sending each other sweet texts and videos all day, and the man sent me some gorgeous roses.  His texts with pictures from our last 12 years are pretty creative.  I tried to up the ante with videos from me, but my camera keeps freezing my face in awkward positions that I'm not sure are producing that "come hither" look I was going for.  You win this year babe.

I was going to make pink waffles for breakfast, but the kids beat me out of the bedroom by a good half hour.  By the time I made it out, the whole table was candy wrappers.  I was greeted by crazed, sugar-high children.  For some reason they weren't hungry.  They had candy hearts and chocolate for breakfast you guys.  It was their once a year chance and they snapped it up.  Soooo, it's late afternoon and I'm still waiting for them to come down from the hyper sugar high, and so we are moving on to pink waffles and bacon for dinner.  They are going nuts, and therefore, so am I.  I'm betting St. Valentine's jail had nothing on this house today.  

I'll bet you anything they still want syrup.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know all of this! Crazy. I love the Valentine decorations!