The date on the calendar is illustrated with profuse flowers, chocolates, and expensive dinner dates. Yet, many couples celebrating their love cherish little beyond individual needs or ambitions. A small minority have commitment that will carry through dashed dreams or great financial need. But there are a few:
Once a year it happened. Charles sang,”Let me Call you Sweetheart, I’m in Love with You” to Jean. The day arrived without fanfare, but it did not exit without the statement being made.
Charles came home from work on time and sat in his chair. With no announcement he would begin the song. Jean would hear the beginning words, drop the ladle, set down the pan, and quickly walk to the den to see her husband’s face.
Slightly off key in his low cow-calling voice, Charles would sing their song again loudly to Jean. His eyes looking up to catch hers over the two younger boys playing with trucks on the floor, past the teenage boy asking when supper would be ready. Ignoring the two girls arguing in the kitchen over who set the table and who opened the can of peas. Finally, over the black dog nudging his hand, the cornflower blue eyes would find hers.
Charles would smile his wide grin holding her eyes with his as he finished the song. Her navy blue eyes glistening with tears, Jean would smile back at him. Then, slowly turning and wiping her hands on her apron, Jean would walk back into the kitchen.
Without extra words, that valentine ritual confirmed the deep bond of love between the man and woman. No extra money for a dinner at a restaurant. No fresh flowers and no chocolates were given. No reprieve from feeding and raising children. No special gift other than the thought of remembrance and a song sung with a smile.
Perhaps the best Valentine’s Day gift of all is to sing a love song when you are not a singer; to express deep love and commitment to another in midst of the circumstances.
My love would look at me awkwardly, so would our children if I broke into a song proclaiming my feelings for them. In fact, I can’t remember when I last sang my deepest affection out loud.
Remembering Charles and Jean, I wonder if I have placed emphasis on surface level actions. Am I looking for and giving the wrong gifts to the ones I love?
Holy One, you are the originator of this deep emotion, love. I have to admit, I still don’t understand why you would want to have a fickle human adopted into your family. Yet, I believe you do, or you would not have sent your only son to take my punishment. In accepting your most costly gift, I long to be more like my Giver. Help me, Lord to express delight and commitment to you and my other loves.
I admit when life is busy or depressing, I don’t listen for your encouragement that you still love me. That you have a plan for me. That you like me and think I am special. That you are walking beside me and will not leave me whatever happens. Instead, I hear my own fears and questions.
Dear God, are you singing your song of love and commitment to me, and I haven’t been listening? Please help me to interrupt my constant motion and listen for your tune.
In the squawk of a BlueJay
Chirp of the Robins
Squeak of the fan motor
Bubbling of the pond fountain
Rustle of the Mimosa tree seeds in the breeze
Laughter of the children next door
Are you singing your love to me though the world you created? Help me to listen and respond back to you with devotion. May I bring a sparkle to your eyes because I radiate and sing your love back to you and those around me?
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, But will rejoice over you with singing.” Zeph 3:17
“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me…” Psalm 42:8
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
“…Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. 5:19b,20
So here I go…it could be a hum or a whistle. May I start with you and then go to the other cherished gifts you have given me….
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be. Great is Thy faithfulness!…” ***
***Song by T.O.Chisholm and William M. Runyan