Valentine's Day is a week away. Yes, I know that it is a holiday made to sell chocolate and roses and I think it is silly (and I still want my husband to take me to dinner). And it is nominally a Christian saint's day, although if St. Valentine existed at all, he was a martyr who died in a decidedly unromantic way.
The real spirit of Valentine's Day often seems to be insecurity - wondering who loves me, if anyone will ever love me, am I loved romantically enough? Or am I being romantic and loving enough towards the object of my affection? It just doesn't seem like all that much fun.
But still - love. The most important thing in the world. All that matters. Everything comes down to it. These days it seems like we need it more than ever. And not just the love of God - the love that created and sustains the world, and redeems it from all its brokenness. That is the air we breathe and the water we swim in.
But also the love between us, and how we nurture and grow that, even during trying times. How we see the love of God in each other. And even, as frivolous as it can seem sometimes, romantic love: full-on crushes and being smitten and holding hands and singing songs.
We can debate whether or not it is 'real', whether or not it lasts, whether or not it is worth it, but being in love is the essence of understanding the beauty of God's creation and the power of goodness and rightness and truth. It can happen to anyone, and everyone deserves it. I have heard it said that when you are in love with someone, you see them almost as clearly as God sees each of us every day - perfect exactly as they are. This cannot be a bad thing.
Recently I have started a Facebook group called RomanTEC (get it? TEC = 'the Episcopal Church'), for Episcopalians - and their friends - to talk about dating, relationships, and the church. Because shouldn't church be where we meet people to date? And shouldn't church be where we can talk about our relationship joys and challenges? Since I met my husband in the most romantic way possible - a Diocesan Council meeting - I feel eminently qualified to host such a group.
Join us to talk about the most important topic in the world - love!
And Happy Valentine's Day.