Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day

By Lucy Wall

I have to thank several FaceBook statuses on Valentine's Day 2012 for my inspiration for the first few verses of this poem. I was truly fascinated as I witnessed the different reactions to this man-made day, a day when romance and confessions of love apparently must rush into our lives! It seems that this has the potential to really affect our emotions and self esteem depending on where we feel we stand with our "love-life” status!

The stimulus was the same but the reactions were varied. I witnessed certain couples exuberantly gush about their Valentine's Day plans and gifts to the envy of everyone else on FaceBook. In contrast I noticed many singletons either drew attention to their status by cracking a self deprecating joke or else posted a heart-broken message that suggested they would be wallowing in self-pity all evening. It seemed that some people felt unable to face the apparent ”humiliation" of being single on Valentine's Day! What pressure this day brings!

It got me thinking about our need and desire for love in life. Of course the "Valentine's Day love" focuses on romantic love between two people but ultimately it boils down to the same thing; the vast majority of us desire to have love and acceptance in our lives.

I started to consider how the love of other people certainly has it's place and importance in life but there is no greater and more important love than the love from God and knowing that in His eyes we are accepted. To know Jesus and feel loved and accepted by Him makes everything else pale by comparison because through Him we can learn what true, unconditional love is like in it's purest form. I say this with confidence because we know from the Bible that "God is love."

As 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says,

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek it's own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

Really, this is a wonderful description of God! I wanted to write a poem that draws attention towards the true source of love, Jesus Christ and how when we've got Him in our hearts it doesn't matter if we're single, dating, engaged or married. We can always feel loved, accepted and treasured beyond belief with Jesus, not just in this life but also in the next.

"Roses are red and violets are blue."
They come with a card, "Love from me to you."
The flowers and chocolates are out on display.
The message is clear, it's Valentine's Day!

The day of the year we're encouraged to show
Our feelings of love and romance for our beau.
Or say in a letter how love-struck you are
To one whom you secretly like from afar.

Let feelings be known before it's too late
And pluck up the courage to ask for a date!
The hope that the postman will put out his back
Bringing you letters of love in his sack!

For some it's a day when they're filled with a dread
As every shop window displays gifts of red.
Love hearts and roses and cupids with wings,
With thoughts of love lost it can pull the heart strings.

Now some who are single feel bound to their house,
Avoiding the ones off to dine with their spouse.
They feel like the loneliest soul on the earth
As if numbers of cards reveals how much they're worth!

If the room isn't filled with "Valentine's stuff"
The poor person feels like they're not good enough!
"Nobody loves me!" I've heard people say.
"I wish I could just hibernate for the day!"

"With couples out dining I'll be on my own.
The shame of this day when it's spent all alone!"
There's pressure to be "coupled-up" it would seem
And Valentine's really can knock self-esteem.

I notice a woman with nothing to hide,
She carries a ribboned bouquet with such pride!
It seems it's a statement for all to see,
"I'm special to someone who cares about me.”

Though Valentine's Day can bring many much joy,
It also can niggle and start to annoy.
Couples who try to convince and persuade
Their partnership must be the best ever made!

Extravagant gifts are "a sign of their love"
And their lives fit together like hand fits in glove.
They want you to witness their public display
And then you find out they broke up the next day!

Though I do not begrudge showing real gratitude
For genuine signs of affection are good
But fanciful shows so overtly displayed,
I can't help but feel it's a little "man-made."

So whether this day makes your heart ache or sing,
It seems pretty clear we all want the same thing.
Whoever we are there's a thought we admire,
To have love in our life is our greatest desire.

We strive to attain it whatever the cost
But we won't know real love 'til we look to the Cross.
The Cross where Christ Jesus paid for our sin,
He cleared every debt though He owed not a thing.

Though many have heard of the Cross, times before
It's become just a sign for “religion," no more.
Or an image of fashion to wear on a chain
But I ask you to look to the Cross once again.

For there lies a pivotal moment in time,
It's affect so profound and it's purpose divine.
The statement is clear, the meaning is true,
You're special to Jesus who cares about you.

Sent by the Father, a bridge He'd to build.
Christ died in our place so this task He fulfilled.
Determined God's love for mankind would prevail,
Now the proof of this love is the scar from each nail.

If you want to feel like you're precious and dear
Then call out to Jesus and He will draw near.
Married or single, somewhere in-between,
You'll treasure Christ's love as the greatest you've seen.

Now I know human love and the joy it can bring
But nothing compares to the love of our King.
For His will not tire nor ever run dry,
He never will leave you nor bid you goodbye.

You're His work of art! A thought to embrace.
A special "one-off" who can't be replaced!
A cherished companion, you're God's number one
And His love holds promise for the life that's to come.

Our Strength, our Provider, our Counsellor too,
The one who created each fibre of you.
Our faithful Companion who gives our souls rest,
Whose plan for our life is always what's best.

Our Guide, our Protector, our wonderful Friend
Who's promised He's with us, right to the end.
With Christ in our hearts we have nothing to fear,
For God shows His love EVERY day of the year!

Just look to the Cross where His blood was shed,
You'll see your salvation was His gift in red.
So on Valentine's Day it is good to recall,
Christ's story of love is the greatest of all.

This Valentine's may be your best or your worst,
But always remember that Christ loved you first.
The gift of our Saviour is reason to say
EVERY day of the year, Happy Valentine's Day!

1 John 4: 9-19

“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.  We love Him because He first loved us.”

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