A Valentine From God
Happy Valentine’s Day! Can there be anything greater than to celebrate and practice love? Love is the very thing we all yearn for an seek more of, yet many people resent Valentine’s Day. Many people have bought into the notion that today is dedicated to couples in love. Commercialism tells us that we should give diamonds and flowers or chocolates to those people we are romantically in love with. But for those who are not romantically involved, Valentine’s Day is a painful reminder of loneliness. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to counter their pain of loneliness with love.
When I was in grade school, Valentine’s Day was celebrated by the entire class. We were instructed to bring a valentine for everyone in the class, and we did. However, the unspoken rule of the celebration was that you brought an extra special valentine card, gift or candy for the people you especially loved. While this might be directed to the person on which we had a “crush,” it was also the case for best friends or close groups of friends. Inevitably though, there were always kids who received the bare minimum or were overlooked. I fell in the category of “cheerful giver” but rarely was I on the receiving end of the XOXO candy conversation heart. When my kids entered those grade school years, I compensated for my childhood feelings of being unloved by forcing them to hand make valentines that were identical and included equal candy for all. This action was a fear response rather than a love response to pain…not to mention, I think my children gifted additional candies behind my back.
In Karen Witemeyer’s novel More Than Meets The Eye, the orphaned children learn to overcome their physical, mental, and emotional wounds not by avoiding pain but with love. Each of the main characters suffer with multiple wounds such as abandonment, abuse, physical illnesses and genetic anomalies. They carry the hurts of previous generations and some are haunted by the sins of their fathers. Yet this story is one of victory.
Evangeline, the heroine of this inspirational book, has eyes of different colors. She is an orphan and witnessed the tragic death of her older brother after they’ve had multiple rejections due to her “defect.” Evangeline finds the easiest route of survival is to isolate herself from society, avoiding the pain of rejection. Zacharias, also orphaned, deals with rejection by using hostility as his wall of protection. He cheats, lies, and steals to survive. Seth is a frail boy suffering with chronic asthma. He is unable to work like other boys, so he finds solace in books. Initially, these three kids cling to each other as the family they need. As they grow up, they deeply love and respect each other despite their weaknesses. This brotherly love they share is the strength to their ability to believe they are more than misfits, more than defects, worth love even. Once they believe they are lovable, they act like they are lovable. In acting lovable, they risk, and succeed in, being loved. A quote from Evangeline: “No matter how many people reject or betray you…if you have even one person in your life that you can count on—really truly count on—you can overcome any obstacle.” Evangeline changes from being a lonely, fearful orphan, not just to being victorious over her obstacles, but to becoming someone that can be relied upon to help others.
Love is our superpower. And God, who is the source of this superpower, wants us to walk victoriously over our fears, weaknesses and woundings. The Apostle John recorded for us in 1 John 4:16-19, “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.” Like the characters in Karen Witemeyer’s touching book, we have the superpower to show God’s love! This Valentine’s Day let’s share the love to both those we hold especially dear and those still living in fear and pain.
Sharon, thank you so much for this beautiful Valentine’s Day message. I hope each of you know this true Godly love and allow His superpower into your life!
Sharon Musgrove is a self proclaimed sociologist. She has a diverse background in business, fitness and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both recovery programs served women primarily from the homeless community. Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, make their home in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They have two grown children. Currently, Sharon is writing her first christian historical fiction novel utilizing her study, experience, and understanding of self-destructive behaviors.