Every year for S Valentine’s Day, I post something about this noble holiday because, whatever its origins, Valentine’s Day is important. There are, of course, those who refuse to celebrate the Feast of S Valentine because, although S Valentine was a Christian bishop, somehow the 14th of February is a pagan holiday. (They also say similar things about Christmas and Easter.) For them, to-day is a day to take grim satisfaction in dimming the light in other people’s lives. They say the Devil is at play in the fields of the Lord.
Not so many years ago, I saw a boy sneak a love-note to a ten year-old girl who was doing her homework at the library. The girl sighed and said that ‘boys can be so annoying’. I’m quite certain that five or six years later, the absence or presence of such a note could easily decide whether that teenage girl is very happy or profoundly sad on S Valentine’s Day. Love is something we experience very early, perhaps never fully understand, and spend years learning to express. It may start with annoying little notes.
I find it interesting that there are people who never celebrate S Valentine’s Day because in their relationship, ‘every day is Valentine’s Day’. I also find the idea depressing because the routine practice of specialness and uniqueness desensitizes people to both qualities.
Relationships need to be celebrated as much as they need to be maintained. Yes, bring your sweetheart a small gift, whisper an honest endearment any time you like, but make certain that on this day, you celebrate.
We need celebration in our lives, and we need times to celebrate what we generally overlook. Being special to someone rarely is commemorated. Loving someone, however routinely expressed it might be, deserves to be fêted. Truly love is rare.
The assembly line approach to celebration might work for some things, but not for this. Card? Check! Candy? Check! Flowers? Check! Expensive dinner with ridiculously small portions? Check! Thoughtful and sincere consideration of the aforementioned? I’ll get back to you on that….
Lately we’ve dealt a lot with encroaching darkness in our lives. Some say the Devil is at work among us. Here’s what I know about that.
Celebration is a light, and light pushes back the darkness. It is laughter in the face of the unlaughable. The Devil doesn’t like being laughed at.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Paul TN Chapman
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