Today is Valentine’s Day. Or Gal-entine’s day for all of you Parks and Rec fans out there. I’ve even heard of another version called, “Pal-entine’s” day. It has basically become a day where you tell people you care about that you care about them. Love is a confusing feeling, and it should be celebrated, but it is confusing. I even found a step-by-step guide on the internet on how to tell someone you love them.
I remember when I was in elementary school, I thought I had the perfect plan. I was “in love” with a girl in my class, so I bought her one of those giant Hershey kisses. The thing was the size of my head. I thought, surely this will communicate my feelings in a way that words never can. Sadly, the feelings were not mutual. My grand romantic gesture was not destined for success.
Navigating the tricky, confusing dance of relationships is a life-long pursuit. When we rely on movies, novels, or a singular day to express all of these feelings we are going to fall short. Which is why I always liked that the Greeks had several words for love. There was love between family, Philia (which is where Philadelphia gets its name, the city of brotherly love). There is romantic love, Eros. Then there is the kind of love that comes from God, Agape. This love is mysterious and eternal. We can, and will, spend our lifetimes trying to understand its depths.
The joyful part of it is, we will get to catch glimpses. And it is good to take a day and express to people how they have shown us glimpses of God’s love. How they have shown the other types, sure, but also to reflect on where we have seen glimpses of God’s love in our lives.
There is an episode of the Simpsons where Lisa gets a valentine’s card for her whole class. In her class is a kid named Ralphie, who is a strange kid. As elementary schools often are, this class is particularly cruel to Ralphie, and he doesn’t get a single valentine’s card. So, Lisa, seeing this, makes sure he gets one. It has a train on it and it says, I Choo Choo choose you to be my Valentine. Ralphie is overjoyed, and he forgets all of the pain and hurt because he receives that card. I hope we all know that God chooses us, and we can be that person who lets others know they are loved.