I have never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. As a person who enjoys church history, one of my favorite things to do on this holiday has been to inform people, that St. Valentine, while the patron saint of love was also the patron saint of plague and epilepsy. Lovely.
It’s not that I am not a fan of love. Romantic love is great and I am jazzed to be able to celebrate the love my husband, Nick and I share every single day including Valentine’s Day and our anniversary.
Also, I have never loved the color pink. Feel free to call me out on my vanity, but pink clashes with my red hair. I do not like it. Patrick is the saint who’s associated color does good things for me.
I think the thing that bothers me about a commercialized holiday about love is that it feels cheapened when relegated to one day and constrained by specific colors and shapes. A celebration of love that can be bought, is missing the point of love: that it is a free choice.
The main thing is that I do not appreciate the concept of love being cheapened in any way. Love is much bigger than colors, shapes or a day. Love is what motivates so much of what is good in this world.
Do you believe in soul mates?
One of the greatest privileges I have working in full-time youth ministry is the opportunity to go on trips and retreats where students have the opportunity to ask their big and small questions about faith and life. Recently, I was sitting on the floor of a girl’s cabin talking with them about these questions when they asked me if I believed in soul mates and if God created one specific person for another individual.
Ah…girl talk. Love it.
I told them no. I told them that the most powerful and romantic thing about love, to me, in both romantic relationships and in our relationship with God is this: choice.
Choice and Romance
Most romantic phrases in my life (with Nick) are as follows: I am so happy you chose me. I chose you. I choose you. I will keep on choosing you.
The series of choices that led to our current real life is staggering. I chose to invite him to a house Christmas party. He chose to come. He chose to ask me out. I chose to make that happen despite scheduling conflict. He chose to ask again. I chose to flirt. We continued to choose each other. Then, I chose to move to be closer to him. He chose to ask me to marry him. I chose to say yes. We chose each other in marriage. We continue to choose each other over and over again.
Similarly, God chose us and continues to choose us. God’s loving choice took him all the way to the cross. We have to choose God too, daily and moment by moment, with how we listen, live out our lives and love others.
That is no cheap love. That love cannot be relegated to a day, color scheme or specific shape. Love like that is worth celebrating.