For your Valentines, love in a way that shows you’re paying attention

Valentine heartsHappy Valentine’s Day

Talk of true love reminds me of the terrific movie Phenomenon starring John Travolta and Kyra Sedgwick. She plays Lace, a beautiful, enigmatic single mom living in a small town. She’s struggling to make ends meet, and is fiercely independent. She’s also an artist who crafts huge, gangly chairs out of driftwood. There are several suitors who try to win her affection, and Travolta’s character, George, finally breaks through.

One of the men in town, who’d doggedly pursued her, is puzzled by this. He asks why the other guy got the girl. The wizened Doc Brunder, played by Robert Duvall, replies, “He bought her chairs.”

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on how we love the people who are important to us. Are we trying to tell them that we love them in a way that is meaningful for us, or are we expressing our love in a way that shows we’re paying attention? Real love challenges us to know our beloved well enough to give to them in truly meaningful ways.

I think God loves us this way. God created us to be who we are, and loves us in personal ways. If we pay attention, we will experience that love. It might be a song that comes on the radio, or a happy coincidence, or a beautiful sunset. God chuckles with delight when we notice. We’re invited to love others in the same way.

On Valentine’s Day we may be thinking “What’s in it for me?” Perhaps instead we can consider what’s important to our beloved. Let’s love at least one other person that way, honoring and celebrating their unique selves. And let’s love ourselves this way, too. For me, that will include watching a good movie!

Consider:

What invitation is here for me, today?

Today I am grateful for:

My intention for today is:

My to-do list for today includes:

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