Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Art of making a Valentine

Valentine was a priest in Rome, who, with Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs during the persecution under Claudius II. He was caught, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, could not get him to renounce his faith. He was then beaten with clubs and beheaded on February 14. He is alleged to have prayed for his jailers daughter to receive her sight before he died and she die miraculously and to have sent letter encouraging Christians being persecuted, signing them, from your Valentine. The manner in which we make a valentine celebration today probably owes more of it's origins to a pagan Roman fertility feast that occured in February called Lupercalia, in anceint Greek mythology this month was the anniversary of the marrriage of Zeus and Hera called, Gamelion.

I think the art of making a Valentine is the art of making a gesture of love that is unconditional and unexpected. As Christ's love for us is unmerited, we also ought to extend love to one another that is unmerited. In my family, we are trying to "downsize" Valentine's Day and the expectations of gift giving that go along with it. It had become almost another Christmas in high emotional expectation. If love is to be freely given and freely received when one or the other did not meet the expectation there was hurt feelings and disappointment. Our Heavenly Father did not ordain this holiday as a Holy day. It is not a sacrament or a commandment. We need to keep it in it's proper perpective and honor and prefer one another in love but not in expectation.

I have had bouquets of flowers in years past and jewelry, dinners out, but money has been very tight recently with only one income coming in. My priorities have changed. I hope for the better. I hope I am seeking the best things, the things that are eternal and that matter over time. The best gift I ever received on this day was the birth of my daughter, made possible by the contribution of the Mr. The daughter, whose picture is above, is twenty two today and we celebrated with her on this blizzardy day. This year, the Mr. received two pounds of homemade fudge from me. It was fun trying to make it so he wouldn't discover me doing it, getting it wrapped up and hiding it until the right moment. The Mr. gave me a beautiful card and bag of chocolate kisses. Each kiss for a kiss I was told, it doesn't get much better than that. This year will be our twenty fifth anniversary.