Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Pain

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.


At 4:10 PM , Anonymous kent said...

Personally I am not a fan of Valentines Day. Love is shown 24/7/365 in manners that are large and small, seen and unseen. But life, even life in the kingdom of God at this point is not fair. So there are going to be those who stand on outside and look in. We are a large number. For those who have not been chosen or have not known the joy of holding a child or whose famly is a source of pain and not of comfort, there is one who stands with you and with me. So we are of the outside, well that is okay. We can survive this, because there is one who does stand with us. And he more than enough.

At 6:37 AM , Blogger Bruce said...

I'm just not a big fan of Valentine's Day. If I can't show my wife love 24/7/365 then one commercialized "day of love" isn't going to cut it.

I agree with what you said about the singles, I teach a young single's class and this is one of the hardest days around.


At 12:03 PM , Blogger Andrew Stonina said...

I am glad that you said that, Don. On Valentines Day one can get the sense of who has a spouse or a girl/boy friend. It sort of makes me sick! I have been part of the 20's/30's group at Salem and most of the people who show up to events are married and I am the only single in the room. This get's complicated when we split up, for our Bible study!

At 4:12 PM , Anonymous simplicity said...

What an awesome gift to those who are single...those last sentences...You were made in the image of God...

What a good reminder.



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