It is a day to celebrate love.
I heard two wonderful sermons on the subject today, one from our own pastor Dan Watt and one from Bobby Schuller of Hour of Power. Bobby is a delightful young preacher and pastor, if you ever want to check him out.
And both talks were on loving, caring love for one another, unconditional, and they inspired my heart.
But I digress... because what has been on my heart today is the awareness of the loneliness a day like this brings. Commercialization which is all around us creates this image of perfect love, a lover's day, which for the majority of the population is an exclusion.
I think of all the dear folk I know who have been recently widowed and how the their hearts ache with the memories of their loved ones and the longing to here those words just one more time... words of love.
And there are those who have been rejected and spurned... divorce and separation a grief all of its own that we don't always acknowledge.
And there are those who long for love...
I was thinking back to another pastor (Dr. Charles Stanley) whom we used to listen to, and I remember well this acronym he used often called HALT.
It is a wonderful reminder of the deep emotions in us that we need to pay attention to, emotions that can run higher than normal on days like this, days that can trigger us.
HALT stands for paying attention to when you are
1. Hungry, or
2. Angry, or
3. Lonely, or
When you think about it, this is amazing advice. None of these things are wrong emotions or feelings, but when we notice any of these taking over in our lives, we need to pay attention! And do something about it. Or it can affect our behaviour and how we respond to others.
I always found it interesting how Lonely made the list. I remember well a cold winter day, just months after I was widowed, when I sat by the ocean and I actually expressed to my mother... I feel so lonely that there must be a large L imprinted on my face. It was an ache that I held and didn't know what to do with.
I honestly think that reaching out to others is the best antidote. Caring friends, those who have been there and understand, safe places to share our hearts. Two wonderful ladies whom I worked with at New Hope (support for the widowed), created a fun night for each other, called "Rotic" evenings. That, by the way, is "Romantic - without the man!"
I believe with all my heart that God, the Creator, the one who created love IS love, and that kind of love is eternal. I rejoice in the fact that I am loved by God, unconditionally, completely.
I also understand the need at times for love "with skin on". So sometimes we might just need to phone up that friend (who also might be lonely) and have a telephone chat, or arrange to go for coffee or tea. Time to hug those irresistible grand-kids if you are so blessed, and tell them how much you love them. There is always someone to love, or even give the gift of a smile.
Love to you, whoever takes the time to read this, and I always love to hear from you.