I mentioned last week the national outlay of $14 billion dollars on this holiday called Valentine's Day. Quite a large sum for ribbons, cards, flowers and gifts that - to hear a man at the bank say today - are "merely obligatory, being devoid of meaning entirely because someone has decreed that men must pay out or else." Sort of like negotiating with hostages, he said: "nobody wants to do it, but sometimes you just have to."
"I hate this day," he said again. "Women have just set us up."
I wonder if he has found ways to creatively express his love for his wife 364 days a year given his dislike for February 14?
By sharp contrast, I have another picture to offer of love today.
It will never enter the national retailers data bank nor will anyone report on its significance economically. But if you can find a more powerful picture of what love is, I want to see it.
When you can take a moment of quiet and give the attention without skimming, please read a powerful tribute of a young husband to his wife.
I marvel at the inspired words of Eric for Sarah, friends of Sam and Bennett in Houston:
Sarah's TransitionFebruary 14, 2011:Sarah is currently in the process of transitioning out of this life... away from her current worn down body and into an indescribably beautiful one. She is very close to leaving the cocoon and becoming the butterfly she has always been so symbolically drawn to. Her condition has dramatically worsened over the past several days, and given her current symptoms, we are being told that the time for her to pass is very near. Currently, she is having few lucid moments, and the ones she is granted are spent straining for those three precious words that exemplify her life... "I love you." Rest assured that she is certainly enveloped in love. Please pray for a painless and peaceful transition, and those of us here struggling with the huge void caused by the loss of her presence.I think Sarah's light has shown so bright that this earth can no longer contain it. It's time for her to go to the true source of that light, to stop being the lone lantern shining into the darkness, but to join the grand symphony of radiance. It would seem selfish to keep her after she has worked so hard and is this close.
Shine bright firefly, shine bright... with tears in our eyes we cherish the path you illuminated.-Your husband
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. And mend the broken hearts left behind.
We understand that Eric is paying the high cost of loving, a price we all have to pay sooner or later. May we pay willingly, though painfully, when we know the priceless gift that is ours in love. May God grant us strength and courage to face an uncertain future because we trust that God is faithful to accompany us the full distance of the journey. We do not go alone.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13: 1-13