As usual, Michael went out of his way to make Valentine’s Day a special event for me. He’s romantic that way.
Knowing how busy the restaurants are on the 14th, he took me out for lunch a few days earlier. We enjoyed chips and salsa at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant.
On Thursday night he showed up with a dozen red roses complete with thorns that pricked at my hands while I trimmed their long stems.
No doubt about it, I knew I was loved, but something was missing and it has been for years.
My roses remain on the table where they’ll stand until each starts dropping their petals. One by one they’ll slip away until the vase is replenished next year. Until the color red takes its place at our table–a symbol of Michael’s devotion to me.
I had a great Valentine’s Day. So why am I left disappointed?
It’s February 17th. This afternoon we stopped in at my mom’s house. It would have been Dad’s birthday if he were with us today, but he’s not. Dad passed away from cancer in 2011 just days before their 61st anniversary. He wasn’t the most romantic of men–at least I didn’t see him that way–but year after year without fail, he’d hop into his little Toyota and drive to the store where he’d buy Mom a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
This year mom spent the day alone baking bread. No man by her side. No heart-shaped tokens of love. Just flour, yeast, water and tears–plenty of them.
It’s astonishing isn’t it? The most romantic day of the year, serves to remind some of how little they’re loved.
Mother’s day, Father’s day, Valentine’s day… They may be great days of celebration to us, but to others they’re a sad reminder of the things they don’t have.
Immersed in the memories of 61 years with a man who served his family and cherished his wife, she was left with nothing but the shards of a broken heart and tears that are all to familiar to her.
“Lord,” she cried out. “Give me a sign. Give me something to remind me I’m loved.”
Then the kitchen fell silent as she stood there alone.
A few hours later, Mom packed up two loaves of bread, bundled up for the snow, and walked over to the neighbor’s house.
Stepping inside, she was met with a warm smile, “Hold on for a minute,” he said, “my wife has something for you.”
Returning from the kitchen, he placed a small package in her hands. Nothing grand–simply four homemade chocolates in a small box wrapped in pretty paper.
The tag on the box read, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Lenore.”
Short. Simple. And sweet.
Mom returned to her house where she fell apart in the living room. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” She cried out.
Someone in this world stopped in the middle of their own romantic life to show someone else that they too are loved.
Looking at myself, I’m left disappointed. I didn’t reach out. I didn’t bless. I didn’t give a second thought to those who were mourning.
People are hurting. People are broken. People are lonely.
One small act of kindness can greatly affect another. It’s not the size of the gift that matters it’s simply the gift.
Perhaps you don’t know how much your neighbor needs encouragement, and maybe you don’t know what God is calling you to do.
I don’t. But I do know that any act of kindness regardless of how small it might be has the potential to speak volumes in the life of another.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. – Matthew 25:34-40
You are loved by an almighty God,
Coming March 10th – Online Book Study
When I was writing this book, my thoughts were that this would be a great book for small groups, but I was also excited about the fact that it’s going to make a great online study! My prayer is that I’ll dig into the Word and that you’ll dig along with me. There are 18 lessons in the book, so tackling two/week will make for an awesome nine-week study!
If you’re looking for a way to draw closer to God and bless your marriage in the process, you’re in good company. That’s my prayer too.
During the nine-week study we’ll look at seventeen virtues and how God is calling us to exercise them.
Where: The study will be here on Mondays and Fridays starting March 10th, 2014, and will run until May 9th. I’ll also have a facebook group set up were we can further encourage one another. Subscribe to Time-Warp Wife so you don’t miss a post.
What You’ll Need: A copy of the book, your Bible, a pen and a notebook. Although the book will be a great asset to the study, if you can’t afford a copy, don’t lose heart. You will still be able to glean a lot of encouragement week to week.
In the Meantime: Check in the Friday before the study and I’ll have a link to the facebook group posted here. If you’re odering a paperback book from Amazon, make sure you allow enough time for delivery.
Invite a Friend: Connect with a friend or a few friends. Invite them to study offline with you. Meet for coffee at your house, email each other, or chat on the phone… encourage each other along the way.