Farnsworth Elementary School had a Valentine's tradition that introduced me not to love but to rejection. Girls would prance around the room with Valentine's boxes handing out cards to their favorite boys, but not all. Boys would get the same chance and offer their cards to girls, who would either blush or scrunch their faces in revolt. It was a good day to get done with. Because I was never part of the picked, the chosen or the adored. I was just a normal kid. And Valentine's Day reminded me that I was boringly normal.
Now as a married, 53 year old pastor, I watch the singles in our church cringe at the thought of Valentine's Day. The young singles, the older singles, the divorced, the widowed. It's a day to rub salt in the heart with the reminder, we have partners and you don't..so deal with it. A friend last night confided to me her plan to survive Valentine's Day and weekend with another friend who is flying in so they can be together.
I see some of those celebretory days turn into wounding days; Mother's Day rips at those who fight infertility or a singleness they would rather not have. Thanksgiving stirs dysfunctional family memories of what bad times they had and how family gatherings are anything but delightful. 4th of July can serve as a statement to properly documented aliens (and not) that you don't belong here and we do.
Holidays have about them an emotional tyranny; you can hardly avoid them. On this day, my 2 cents to those who ache at the Valentine avalanche is that you are just right the way you are. You were made in the image of God. You are beautiful without being told so by another.