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On Valentine’s Day, are people looking for love, actually? For sure … but maybe more. What if what we’re really looking for is … here’s my take on it:
Who on this earth has not experienced loss? No one.
LOSS comes early in our lives, like when a baby has to leave her mother because her mother has to go back to work and the baby has to go to day care. That tiny one has no words for it … she just knows things are not the same and she misses her security. That’s a love for which there is absolutely no substitute. And all that baby can do is, well, cry it out – hopefully with some help from others who love her and can comfort her.
As we grow, loss becomes more profound … some of it unspeakable. We cannot predict or measure how loss arrives and then how it affects us in our lives when it comes. It is the most common human experience there is. Every one of us loses at love somewhere along the line. How we deal with that loss … that’s the question.
On Valentine’s Day, there is a lot of hype. Many of us go through the motions of it just to do what Hallmark says we should – be sappy! But for sure, we’re all looking for something when we do. The holiday is big because deep down every one of us desires not to lose love or to lose at love and therefore to find the love that never ends.
At the core, that is what Christianity is: eternal love. There is no love on this earth that is more profound than the love of a creator that says to us, “Even with all your foibles, you are good and I who made you love you completely.” That is the love of self-esteem. When I receive God’s love I can love myself truly. I who love myself can drop all pretenses and then I can love others generously, with complete acceptance. If I do not accept myself, it’s hard to love others fully.
And then, when I lose at love – which I will for sure – there is still hope that love will endure. Research shows that people of faith experience loss very differently than those who struggle to believe in something beyond themselves.
For persons who attend your church, give them an invitation tool that says something like: How not to lose at love in a fleeting world. Tell them to invite their friends. And then talk about that search for the love that never ends.
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