#COMMITYOURHEART: St. Valentine’s-Style Love
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 NIV
Happy belated Valentine’s Day! Sorry, there was no post last week for our #COMMITYOURHEART Movement month. I had a family emergency with my Mom. She had a nasty infection that made her lethargic, so she went to the emergency room. We almost lost her, but God has plans for her yet on this earth. I spent quite a bit of time with her, and when my brother came, I scrambled to catch up on housework and writing. I’ve not slept well, either. Thank you for your kind understanding.
So, I thought about Valentine’s Day and our challenge. There is always writing material from most situations. I want to share with you our latest adventure for Valentine’s Day and our challenge.
Health and Love in Lockdown
First, Mom came to live near us five years ago. She was having trouble doing some simple tasks, like shopping, making the bed, sweeping her floors, or driving to doctor appointments. She gave up driving when she realized she was no longer safe to continue. I took her to medical appointments once she moved here. One of them revealed she developed congestive heart failure. Early on, she had chest pains when I came to her apartment, so I took her to the ER. She was in A-fib. As we learned from her cardiologist, her history of loving refined carbs and not managing her blood sugar well led to congestive heart failure and damage to her kidneys. Mom redeemed her heart health when she changed her diet, tested her blood sugar regularly, and walked laps around the courtyard of her apartment complex. Mom was in her late 80’s when this occurred. You are never too old to turn your health around.
Second, Mom found love at 90. You see, she survived domestic violence twice. Figuring she was terrible at choosing men, she decided it would be best to stay single. Love isn’t going on with a spouse who dominates you. It might look like it during the dating years and even initially in the marriage. The façade wears off, and the abusive spouse reveals himself (and in some cases, herself) as a controller with a violent streak. Both of her divorces were scary violent. If she had not left, she might not be here today. At any rate, love found her when she least expected it—in her senior apartment community. At first, she dismissed this fellow and told him he was a good friend. As time continued and the Pandemic forced senior communities into lockdown, their love bloomed. Her Sweetheart is a kind, Christian widower. He treats her like a queen! Mom told me recently that she wished she could have met him sooner. She has never been loved like this before. God gave an elderly pair love late in life. It sounds like Him! You are never too old to find real love.
COVID Valentine’s Love at our House
My Boaz has been working long hours lately. We see each other, and in passing, hug each other. In his exhausted state, he woke up Saturday thinking that it was Valentine’s Day. He didn’t have time to get anything for me from the store. So, he brought me rice cakes topped with blueberry yogurt and blueberries. I opened my eyes when he came up by my side of the bed to see this delicious offering of love. “Happy Valentine’s Day!” I looked at my watch, thinking, is it really Valentine’s Day? Nope.
“Honey, it’s not Valentine’s Day.” I informed him in my morning grog, “But thank you! This is the best breakfast ever!” We snickered about it. He put them in the fridge for me and crawled back in bed to snuggle. When I went down to the kitchen for breakfast later, I savored my Boaz’s love offering.
On Valentine’s Day, we spent time together showing love to others. We took my Mom’s boyfriend to visit her in the hospital. At first, she didn’t recognize him, but when she did, they were all smiles after a while. We knew he would have to take advantage of seeing her at the hospital because when she goes back to the nursing home, she will be in lockdown again due to COVID.
We joined in with our church to help fill special bags with essentials for people in need. The Pandemic caused financial hardship for so many people. Our church wanted to show love to people in need. So, we hunted down items for these bags together. Teamwork! Go, Team Martin!
Even though Valentine’s Day is viewed as a romantic holiday, it originated with the love of Christ. St. Valentine, who continued performing marriages for young soldiers, was imprisoned because he served them and their brides illegally. Before his execution, he sent the first Valentine to a young girl, the jailer’s daughter, who signed, “Your Valentine” (Wikipedia). Sometimes, performing acts of love has nothing to do with chocolates, romantic cards, flowers, or lingerie. More often, love is shown through the love of Christ and care for others. We sacrifice our own desires to meet the needs of others.
What does all this have to do with the #COMMITYOURHEART Movement? Caring for your own heart physically enables you to be there for loved ones and others in your community. Our bodies are not our own, they were bought for a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). I should have just gone with my husband’s gesture of love a day early, but it worked out. Take care of your heart, the heart of your Sweetie, and the hearts of others around you by showing the love of Christ. Our focus verse at the top of this post says it best! Also, it is the love for Jesus that brings a deep love for each other. That is what #COMMITYOURHEART is about. I picked this logo because of the Pandemic. We can’t always physically connect with others, but praise the Lord technology helps us fill that void! Reach out and connect with loved ones using the technology God has allowed us for such a time as this.
Pastors, church, and ministry leaders, you can take part in #COMMITYOURHEART MOVEMENT with your congregation and focus groups of all ages. #COMMITYOURHEART challenge ideas, logo, devotions, and gear are available. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Questions for Discussion
- How can you commit your heart to God’s work today?
- What lifestyle changes can you make to keep your physical heart healthy?
- What are you doing to nurture your love for Jesus?
- How can you show the family, friends, and neighbors your love for them in a tangible way?
- In what ways can you extend the love of Jesus to others around you?
May the Lord of Love fill your heart with love, peace, and joy today!God’s blessings to you!
St. Valentine on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Valentine.