Today is Valentine’s Day, a day to commemorate Saint Valentine.
I’ve seen a lot of buzz today about the Saint behind the day, about being single on Valentine’s day, and about what to buy or give your partner.
Saint Valentine is the patron saint of bee keepers and happy marriages, so it’s only fitting I would pay a little homage on this blog.
What’s on my mind today is how we should remember. Remember someone who was arrested for performing Christian marriages.
I can’t help but immediately think of Reverend Frank Schaefer and many others who have dared to defy authority and perform marriages. Marriages they are losing their rights over. Christian marriages, despite the fact that some of the church and most state governments refuse to recognize them.
Marriages like mine.
A good marriage.
Last night, my sweet wife and I exchanged our small gifts to each other. I made hers, and she got a very thoughtful book for me, one I had seen and wanted a while ago.
Drew Barrymore’s “Find It in Everything.”
It’s a beautiful collection of photographs she has taken over the years, and each photograph contains a heart. Some of them are obvious and intentional, while others are accidents which convey a message of beauty and hope and love. I am so moved by Drew’s attention to such simple, and often hidden, beauty and hope.
After we looked through the book last night, we started noticing hearts everywhere, too.
I keep thinking today, that maybe the best way we can remember Saint Valentine is to do three things.
We can stand in solidarity with those who are persecuted for their love, and those who stand on the side of love, though it cost them greatly. We can remember the LGBTQ people around the world that face varying levels of oppression and injustice, and the ministers, justice workers, and ordinary citizens who stand with them. We can remember people who have no or very limited rights, the bullied, and the Ugandans and the Russians who are beaten and/or killed for their love. We can stand with them. And we can remember Frank Schaefer and other ministers who face defrocking because of their stand for love.
We all can find it in everything. We can look not just for hearts, but for other signs of hope and love, and we can do as Drew suggests, and make symbols of love and hope of our own. Then maybe others, will start to find it, too.
We can be kind to bees, and help the bee keepers. Let’s not just buy flowers, but plant them. Flowers that have not been treated with pesticides, and flowers and herbs that they feed on. Buy local honey. Support a local bee keeper.
Maybe if we engage in all of those things, Valentine’s Day will become more than a day for cute little hearts with messages like “Be Mine” and “Sweetheart” or over-priced teddy bears and chocolate.
Maybe it will be a day that reminds us that love wins.
Love always wins.
❤ ❤ ❤