“Be My Valentine”—do you remember receiving your first valentine card? Back in the dark ages when we celebrated “Valentine’s Day” in elementary school our teacher required that we bring a valentine card for each and every student in our class. Nothing defines awkward like getting a valentine card from your best friends Ralph and Ricky!
I must confess growing up as a boy in a man’s world with three younger brothers– love always stood out as a mystery to me. I could totally identify with Greg, an eight year old boy, asked to define love that reflected deeply and said:
“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too!”
By the way, the El Paso Chihuahuas baseball team opens its season against the Tacoma Rainiers on April 9 at 7:05 p.m. at Southwest University Park, just in case Valentine’s Day does not work out for you. Play ball!
When the hot topic of love comes up in conversation if you listen closely you may hear someone speak of “falling in love.” As a boy, my first reaction was “did it hurt?” Author Steve Maraboli aptly said: “Falling in love is a wonderfully terrifying sensation.”
While Tammy Blackwell in her book Fate Succumbs observed: “Falling in love is bizarre and creepy.”
I must confess I too have been there and done that and got the t-shirt as they say. In fact, my wife Robyn revealed recently to a room full of young couples that I told her “I love you”…during our first week together. Of course, what she failed to tell them was that I was afraid it was going to be our last week! By the way I still love her.
Mark Twain knew instinctively what happened in my heart and mind when I met Robyn when he wrote in Eve’s Diary: “Love is not a product of reasonings and statistics. It just comes—none knows whence—and cannot explain itself.”
My soul beats with the words of William Shakespeare who penned:
“I love thee, I love but thee
With a love that shall not die
‘Till the sun grows cold
And the stars grow old.”
Of course if Shakespeare lived today, he doubtless would write lyrics for country crooners like George Strait who sang in his classic love song “Carrying Your Love with Me”:
“On a lonely highway, stuck out in the rain. Darlin’ all I have to do is speak your name. The clouds roll back and the waters part. The sun starts shining in my heart for you!”
Let’s face it; we reveal the glory of God in its truest form when we love one another with an undying love. Tim Keller in his book “The Meaning of Marriage” made the following observation about the depth and nature of the love God stirs deep in our hearts and souls when he wrote:
“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
When someone knows you fully and loves you wholly, there can be no greater gift or grace in life. To be fully known and fully loved captures the wonder and glory of the divine among us. The Apostle John exclaimed “God is love.” (1 John 4:8). He first experienced this love in the face of Jesus, and made it his life’s mission to share this love with others in Jesus’ name. Love those you know best and change the world just like Jesus does!