Monday, February 14, 2011

How We Know What Love Is

I may be the only single girl in the world who doesn't hate Valentine's Day. Well, there have been a couple of years when I've hated it. But on the whole I look forward to the cheesiness. Case in point, freshman year of college, my roomies and I staged a cry-fest, complete with The Notebook, plenty of Nutella, and ample tissues.

I love the red juju hearts, the pretty homemade cards (sooo wish I had made some this year!), the sappy movies. And I especially love the excuse to wear red and pink in the same outfit! Plus, my parents always make me feel ridiculously loved on this day when it can be a little tough to be the single girl. Maybe that sounds cheesy, considering I'm 25. But they are so sweet--my dad always sends flowers and my mom sends gifts/candy/etc. This year they combined forces and everything was from both of them. It came in waves--first a bouquet of flowers, sent to the WH office, then a package of gorgeous heart-shaped sugar cookies and Russell Stover sent to my house, and finally a sweet card in my mailbox.

Tonight though, in spite of all the extra TLC, I expected to be just a little sad. Usually I make plans with girlfriends for Valentine's Day, but this year I just worked until 8:00 p.m. I know, depressing, right? Only for some reason, it wasn't.

I came home, made some dinner, and settled in for the Bachelor. Go ahead and judge me. It is a horrible, classless show and I deserve it. But I watch it. Every week. And every week I look at Brad and his entourage and I wonder, what on earth makes these girls willing to throw caution to the wind with this guy who may or may not be in love with them? The answer is so obvious.

We are all, whether we like to admit it or not, absolutely desperate for love.

Not to get all Platonic on you, but the kind of love we conjure up for ourselves is just a shadow of the Love that we're intended for, the Love we were created to be swept up in. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel so sad for Brad and his posse. They don't even know what they're really looking for!

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
1 John: 16

The grammar in 1 John is just so great. John writes about love using the construction above over and over again. It's like he's saying, "in case you didn't know...THIS (i.e. Jesus) is what Love really is.

I've been a little obsessed for about the past year with this Indelible Grace hymn sung by Laura Taylor called "To Christ the Lord Let Every Tongue." (I quoted it in a post about some Messianic Jewish teaching I heard around this time last year.) As I've been listening to it lately, it has struck me as so SO perfect for Valentine's Day, especially the last (and my favorite) stanza:

Since from His bounty I receive
Such proofs of Love divine
Had I a thousand hearts to give,
Lord they should all be Thine!

And there's just one last little tidbit I want to share (this post has been such a hodgepodge, I know!) from "The Love of Jesus" in Valley of Vision:

I am never so much mine as when I am His,
or so much lost to myself until lost in Him;
then I find my true manhood.
But my love is frost and cold, ice and snow;
Let His love warm me,
lighten my burden,
be my heaven.

May it be so. Happy Valentine's Day!


Jess said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Chelsea! Even the day after it was good to read how your day was and what God has shown you even through a show like the Bachelor (I'm guilty of watching it too haha) Happy Valentine's Day, love you!

Sarah said...

Happy Valentines Day, friend. I love your words..."Had I a thousand hearts to give, Lord, they should all be thine!" What a prayer :) I love you.