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If you are reading this on Valentine’s Day morning, then my guess is you are probably at work and avoiding the actual work that…
AAAHHHHHHH! Your boss is standing right behind you! And you are reading something about making love!
OK, so that was awkward.
So now it’s noon, and you were so impressed with my psychic skills from earlier this morning that you are now in your car eating a PB&J (or Hot Pocket since you sometimes get crazy on holidays) and reading my post on your iPhone.
Wait, what? Not everyone has an iPhone?
OK, so my psychic skills can’t be right all the time. I hope I at least got the eating in your car at noon part right.
But can we talk about me now? Thanks.
If you were wondering about my whereabouts, there are most likely three possibilities because I just landed this morning after a week in Hong Kong. If my time-zone calculations are correct, I get two Valentine’s Days for the price of one. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a literal “love is in the air” with seat 16C. But if that hasn’t happened, you might find me…
1. In bed. I probably don’t remember much of exiting the plane or the car ride home, but now I am all set with eye mask, space heater, and my beach-bed. (Midwinter tip: Purchase a small space heater and set it on your nightstand. Point it at your face and pretend you are on a warm beach. Nine out of ten doctors say it works better than Ambien.*)
2. I’m still in Hong Kong because they decided to keep me. Please inform my parents. And the authorities.
3. I’m wandering the streets of Portland in a jet-lagged stupor, trying to give relationship advice to hipsters while they eat from the food carts on SE 12th and Hawthorne. (In between love chats, I might also be overheard saying, “I bet I could ride that unicycle… this time.”)
So whether your Valentine’s Day is 24 hours or 36 hours, I thought it important to note that many of us don’t enjoy this day.
Many of us actually love to hate this day. And I get it. All this love in our faces, flowers galore, chocolate flowing forth, cards that say nice things, etc., etc.
Wait. I just reread that last sentence. Why do we love to hate this day?
The reality is, many of us feel forgotten, foolish, and frustrated.**
Expectations too high.
Expectations not met.
Love not reciprocated.
Reminders of love long gone.***
Whatever you deal with today, here is my challenge:
Whaaaaaa?! Joy, I’m telling your parents.
Look, if this day brings you disappointment, loneliness, or pain, don’t approach it with dread or disdain.** There are plenty of other days for stuff like that. (For instance, Canada’s Boxing Day.) Today, choose to remember that there are other people out there who are lonely, hurting, and desperate to feel like someone cares about them.
Make love a reality for them.
It seems almost impossible to give or create feelings of love when we feel starved of it ourselves. But I’ve shared multiple times that one of the most transformative times in my life was when I was on the brink of serious depression and my father challenged me to serve and give in the midst of my feeling unable to give anything.
Through some pretty tough seasons, I now believe God can work with our willingness, even in the midst of our brokenness.
So today I’m going to ask God how I can make love a reality for someone. I pray that He opens my eyes, and I pray that you will trust Him to open yours, too.
Literally. He’s going to have to open my eyes. Otherwise I’m gonna be passed out in this beach-bed all day.
From my heart,
***Try to say those last three words five times fast.
What are some tangible ways you can give love away today?
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.