Valentine’s Day has become a commercial holiday with cards, candy, flowers, and other gifts sent to family, friends and loved ones in general. The really astounding fact to me is that Americans will spend roughly $703 million dollars on their pets for this special day! I am an animal lover, but seriously something seems wrong with this “generosity.” We seem to think of everyone and anyone including the pets so many of us love. My question for thought today is “what about the least of these” and what about God?

Up until I truly became serious about my faith, I took so much for granted. I’ve had a blessed life never having experienced being hungry, needy or homeless. I lived a sheltered life as a child and young adult. Although I’ve had some emotional tragedies, my physical needs have always been met and I am so thankful for that. It’s only in the past seventeen years or so that I’ve come to think daily about my faith. God chose me as His child and adopted me into His family.  He will never leave or forsake me as friends and family do. Having been an only child, I appreciate this even more since my biological parents have passed. God is always there and ready to listen and I have the joy of looking forward to going to His home one day. When I woke up as a Christian, I found myself communicating with my Father more and more. I began thanking him daily for His love and the precious gift of His Son, who paid my sin debt in full. How can I ever thank Him enough? Never, but I can be serious about His love.

A few years ago, Charles Stanley gave contributors to his ministry a blank Valentine card to complete for the Lord. I thought this was wonderful and shared it with my adult Sunday School class. They agreed with me, but how many of us have kept this tradition alive? Not many, I fear. I have to admit I have failed to do this every year, but this year it is a priority for me. Without God’s influence in my life, I would have no reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day. As we’re told in 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” Thank You, dear Lord, for Your love! Please enable me to see Your touch in my life and reflect Your love to others. Help me to reach out to those that seem harder to love. You never give up on me or turn your back on me, even on  the days I act truly ugly, You still love me and show it. Help me appreciate others and love them as You love me.

Jim and I are planning to share some special, inexpensive gifts with those in need this year. It gave me great joy today to think of these people as I purchased cards, candy, paperbacks and Valentine socks for them. I want them to feel our love and these simple gifts say a bit more than just a verbal “I love you.” They hear that whenever we see one another, but this is a bit more than just a hug. It’s also a Valentine to God who has blessed both Jim and I beyond any expectation we could ever have had. He brought us together a little over fifteen years ago and we speak of our love every day for both Him and each other. Happy Valentine’s Day, dear Lord, we truly adore You and praise Your Holy Name!