Friday, February 11, 2011

VALENTINE'S DAY - when I was a kid ...


I am not exactly sure how it got here. I vaguely remember those words coming from “old people”. You know, the ones who had no idea what life was all about? My body language betrayed my mocking attentiveness; “here they go again ...”

My head would tilt ever so slightly to the right and up, as I concurrently took a slow, deliberate deep breath. This was almost immediately followed by eyebrows lifting and eyes rolling up and to the right - all, as if perfectly choreographed. The only positive things I could rest my attention upon were: A. Sooner or later they would have to take a breath; B. There was a likelihood they would derail their train-of-thought by its exaggerated content; or, C. God, Himself, would deliver me.

I vaguely remember thinking, “When YOU were a kid THE DEAD SEA WAS JUST ILL!”

Now, I am here. I’m actually looking back at when I was a kid! Something is even more troubling ... I’M STRUGGLING TO REMEMBER!

I digress ... but I suppose I’ve now earned the right to digress, right?


When I was a kid I looked forward to Valentine’s Day. My parents would take me to the local Drug Store (Amario’s if I remember correctly). There, we would pick out a variety pack of Valentine’s cards with cute little character pictures and pithy little verses of love. The cards were located over by the television-tube-tester machine I think ...

Anyway; I couldn’t wait to arrive at home and choose which card was precisely the right card for the right person. I always saved a special card for Janice Bruns.

That night I could barely sleep. I was overcome with anticipation! Tomorrow I would surreptitiously deliver my cards and little packet of candied hearts upon desks of my classmates, and at the front doors of my neighbors. Amazingly, I actually received cards and treats from my friends. Looking back, they must have shopped at Amario’s too. Ah, but that didn’t matter; it was the act of kindness that counted - and the fulfillment of bringing a smile of satisfaction to the faces of those I cared about.

When I was a kid ...

Well, I’m not a kid anymore. Amerio’s shut it’s doors long ago. It’s television tube tester is probably on display somewhere in the Smithsonian Institute. I don’t deliver pithy little cards to the desks of my schoolmates or co-workers for that matter, and no doubt would be arrested by Neighborhood Watch if I was seen running from door-to-door. I do, however, wonder where Janice Bruns is today.

But, it is still Valentine’s Day. It is still a day we reserve on our calendar as a day to recognize those we care about. It is still a day of flowers, chocolates, cards and romance.

Perhaps, just perhaps, a random act of love would satisfy the nostalgic fulfillment of our youth. Is there someone you know who could use a word of encouragement? How about a note or card surreptitiously sent that simply says, “Someone cares”?

When I was a kid there was a little chorus we used to sing. I’ve long forgotten the verses but I remember the chorus very well:

“Jesus is my true Valentine, His heart was cleft for me. I cannot tell why He loved me so well, but He proved it on Calvary!”

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 8:37-39

Happy Valentines’s Day!

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