February 13, 2018

Valentine's Day Nightmare

I was 16 and “in love!” This was it. She was “the one.” I bought her favorite food, lined up her favorite music, taken a shower (a big deal for a teenage guy), gotten a haircut, shaved, and to top it off, put on cologne. I ironed my clothes, even put on dress shoes—and a tie! I was smitten! I had planned everything down to the flowers she preferred and the perfect time of day: sunset.

Nothing was left to chance. We had an incredible time. After dessert, I handed her a card I had made myself with a beautiful, original poem (thank you very much)! She began to read it, looked up at me, and began reading again . . . and that’s when it all went downhill, fast!

You see, after she returned her gaze to the poem I had so painstakingly written, her eyes fell on a girl’s name—only it wasn’t hers! It was the name of another girl I was talking to while I was trying to write my girlfriend the poem. Note to ADD self: “Do not try to multitask! EVER!”

It was truly an honest mistake. Unfortunately, my girlfriend didn’t see it that way, and I ended up with what was left of the food and drink on my clean-shaven, cologned face. One simple little mistake, and the whole evening was ruined.

Contrast that with another Valentine’s Day memory. I was in elementary school. I had made my first Valentine’s Day card. It was another handmade card with a poem and a picture. I got home from school and eagerly handed it to my mother. She looked at it with all its mistakes, misspellings, stains (PB&J), and imperfections . . . and she loved it! In fact, she still has it to this day.

What’s the point? Simply this: Valentine’s Day is a time we can—and should—recognize that there’s absolutely nothing we can do to make God, our heavenly Parent, stop loving us. The Bible tells us, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [Jesus], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16, 17).

So this month as we’re doing our shopping, wrapping, writing, coloring, and cooking, let’s take some time to write God a love letter to thank Him for sending us His very own Valentine’s Day gift: His Son, Jesus.

I promise: God will absolutely love anything we give Him; we’re all He really wants, anyway. And I guarantee that the only thing He’ll throw our way is more love, grace, and mercy!

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplain Plainville, Georgia.