Well, Valentine’s Day 2016 has come and gone. Was it everything that you had hoped for?
I have a bit of Clark Griswold in me. That means I have a tendency to load up holidays with expectations that no one, not even me, can live up to. This Valentine’s Day was no exception.
After a fair amount of research, I had settled on a very highly rated restaurant just a short drive from our home. Google gave it 4.6 stars. It also featured wide range of food choices and great steaks. From the pictures online it looked like a big win for Michael, and subsequently, my lovely wife of over 25 years.
What I had not anticipated was the loud drum machine/karaoke singer belting out his version of the best (or worse) that the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s had to offer. As you know, nothing says “I Love You!” more than a poorly sung Duran Duran cover. Apparently they also hadn’t planned on their musical act packing the place, because they were short staffed and the kitchen had a hard time getting our order right. I didn’t get my dinner until well after Tess had eaten hers.
What I had hoped would be perfect expression of my love towards my wife, who has been with me for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ended up a great big disappointment.
Maybe you’ve been there?
Or, maybe, you wish that you could have had that experience; but you are still searching and waiting for someone to spend an evening like that with.
Or, maybe, you wish that you could have had that experience; but the one that you committed your life to loving has gone, and now you are alone.
Or, maybe, you wish that you could have had that experience; but you no longer feel affection towards the one you committed your life to loving, and now any version of any meal just seems painful.
Sometime's there is no card that expresses what we really need to hear on Valentine's Day. So, at the end of the day, Valentine’s Day is perhaps just a wonderful reminder of how we are all longing to experience real love. Valentine’s Day was created by Hallmark as a means of accomplishing that goal. I’m not sure they have succeeded.
Lent, I think, does a much better job.
During Lent we are reminded that real love comes down and dwell among us, shares in all the pain and hardship of our lives, reminds us that we are lovable, and promises to love us forever despite our many shortcomings. During Lent we are reminded that real love forgives our sins, unites us to our Father, and promises us hope of the restoration despite what our current relationship status may be.
The greatest expression of that love was a night and a day that must have looked like the worst series of events designed to express love - ever.
I am thankful for expressions of love that don’t look the way we think they should.