Yesterday Greg (wanting to make Valentine’s Day a perfect day) took me to See’s Candy Shop at Kent Station to get my favorite chocolate – the butterscotch square. We arrived and stood in a LONG line – and I quickly glanced around and nervously listened in on conversations the others were having with the sales people behind the glass case. And what I was hearing was horrifying! They were actually “selling out” of many kinds of chocolates due to the “rush” for men from our area buying the PERFECT box of chocolate for their sweetie. Well it’s amazing what happens when you have your heart set on a certain kind – and then slowly find out that it’s GONE! I guess I’m not the only one who likes that kind. It’s pretty wonderful – and next to the chocolate caramel bar at “Harry and David” – there is simply nothing like it. So I quickly had to change my mind and choose something else – but my heart wasn’t in it. No toffee nut crunch or mocha creme would make up for the lack of the butterscotch squares. And what was worse – I did actually choose something really similar to it – and they only had it in dark chocolate. I’m not a big fan of dark chocolate – so I was a most unhappy camper. I smiled sweetly and decided to accept my fate – going home without my favorite – even though I had chosen a few others that were close – but not near close enough – and the nice lady put them in the bag for us – added up our total and then when Greg was paying her – she opened her secret little stash of “samples” in a drawer next to the cash register and in it was a “butterscotch square”! She put one in the bag and smiled at me – and she became my “new” best friend ☺Now was that important? You may even say it’s silly and unnecessary. But it was important to me – and her kindness made my day.
This reminds me of God’s love for me. Something may be very disappointing to me – oh it’s pretty small – like the chocolate – but it does not seem small to me – and God who sees and hears everything and is familiar with my hurting heart – brings something or someone in my life journey to encourage or to say just the right thing to me. A reminder that He knows me. He loves me. He cares for me – even the hurts and slights from others. He knows about even the smallest rejection and feels my pain and somehow – in some wonderful way that only He can – He surprises me with a sweet gift – a kiss of love – a much needed hug for a weary traveler – from my loving heavenly father. To encourage me. And lift my spirits. So incredibly sweet. Like a butterscotch square. ♥
I came across this video from the History Channel – as I was poking around this morning on the internet for information on Valentine’s Day. If you were ever curious about it’s beginnings and how it became a tradition in our culture today – take a look – it’s fascinating!
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” I Corinthians 13:4,5
As we approach Valentine’s Day – the above scripture verse comes to mind. Greg uses this scripture quite often at wedding ceremonies as well. It is the perfect model of what true love is all about – we all strive for it in our lives – very few succeed. I mean – who could ever be that perfect? So unselfish all the time. It simply isn’t possible. I mean – “not easily angered” and “keeps no record of wrong” what’s that all about? Just when we think we are pretty good at putting things behind us – keeping no record – something will come up and remind us that we are not completely over something that someone did to us.
My husband calls me a “bleeding heart” because I have a rare ability to be able to embrace and love – emphathize and become involved with others who need a little extra love and reassurance. When we were young youth pastors living in Jeannette, PA – there were some teenagers that really needed extra love and attention. Two of them were brothers being raised by a single Mom. Life was tough for them and we did our best to get them involved at the church and we loved on them as best as we could. There were some others as well – we had a group of a lot of troubled young men. I was like their “mom” for that year we were there – and I wasn’t that much older than they were! They became my “lost boys” – and the nickname stuck. Throughout all of our ministry years – there have always been young men that allowed me “in” to their world and they became part of my “lost boys” over the years. I still pray for many of them today and wonder where some of them are. In fact – I have tried to find some of them on facebook – because so many people are on there now. I keep hoping and praying that I will see some of them again.
There are some that we have been able to reconnect with recently via the internet – and it’s been great to see what has become of all of them that were once a part of our lives and ministry throughout the various places we have lived in ministry. More recently it has still been with the same heart that I have reached out to young men and women – needing just a little extra love from another “mom” – and though it’s just as important for the young woman to feel that extra love – I would have to say that I have always had a special ministry for the “lost boys”. Having an 18 year old son and a 22 year old daughter – has lent itself for both of them over the years to bring their friends home and it has allowed me an opportunity to show special love and acceptance to them – young or old.
It is always a risk to have that kind of love. It is sometimes difficult for others to truly see your heart when it comes to loving others. But despite the obstacles associated with it – I have found that for me – it is the only way to live. I have had to move past any hurt or rejection or misunderstanding – and not let it affect just who I am. I have had to be willing to open my heart and let God lead me me to the next person who needs a little TLC in their life.
I try to live by the scripture above. I fall short. Everytime. I am not patient by nature – but I have always tried to be kind. I hope I am never rude – but I’m sure I have failed at that one too. I try to love from pure motives – try not to let my emotions get in the way – but I sometimes fail at that too. I have blown it so many times. But I will not give up – or let a bad experience from embracing people – stop me from being what I feel God has led me to do.
How do you love? Is it hard because you are afraid of hurt? Me too. But is it more important to love anyway – because it’s the right thing to do? Yes.
I am thinking about all my “lost boys” and “lost girls” today. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. ♥
In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up a week from Sunday – here is a great song for all you love birds ♥♥♥