February 18, 2012
February 14, 2012
My daughters Margaret and Sara wrote this blog post. It challenged and inspired me, so I wanted to share it with you. Happy Valentine’s Day.
On Valentine’s Day, we naturally focus our attention on those that we know and love well. TV commercials show rapturous men declaring their love with diamond-encrusted necklaces; grocery stores showcase tight bunches of frozen-smelling roses. Probably most of us forgo these tired symbols of love and go out to eat with our beloved, or write a thoughtful note to our spouse. My brother-in-law holds that Valentine’s Day is a consumer culture-manufactured event calculated to get us to spend more money; for a while he refused to participate. (My sister finally got him to compromise and purchase her a book to celebrate the day.) While finding a way to celebrate romantic love is fine, there are other kinds of love to celebrate and mark as significant.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted from the world.
Let’s have a Valentine’s Day Revolution!
I challenge us to be just as aware of those who desperately need love, but are not represented in Valentine’s Day commercials or Hallmark cards. (I’ve never seen a Hallmark card section marked “Orphans”). It is easier ignore the pain that Valentine’s Day evokes for some people than to enter into the distress of the heartbroken, isolated, and lonely. Let’s deliberately and intently search for people that we can show God’s gracious compassion and unrelenting love. We can look for practical ways to demonstrate this love and “look after” those living with a relationship void.
1) The New Hope Foundation cares for precious Chinese orphans with disabilities. Click here for more information and to donate.
2) Volunteer at a homeless shelter, particularly one that has women and children. Often, these children, while not actual orphans, are starved for attention and time.
3) I know of a young widow who needs our help. This December, my friend Angela’s thirty-four-year-old brother Joshua died suddenly from a heart problem. His wife Jennie is devastated. She needs encouragement and financial provision. Jennie was left without life insurance and with large medical debt. Any help would be appreciated.