My Favorite Valentines are not What You Might Expect

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My favorite Valentines haven’t been cards with cuddly kittens on the front or boxes of chocolate (though I do enjoy those too!).

It might sound funny, but my favorite Valentines have been sunrises.

I received my first one—at least, the first one I actually realized was addressed to me—a few years ago.

On a morning not long before Valentine’s Day, I awoke to a sublime light permeating the bedroom curtains. Mesmerized, I was drawn to the window, where I was met with a spectacular vista.

The sun was rising behind the hill across the valley, and the sky was erupting in a flamboyant bouquet of rose, carnation and tangerine. Silver-blue glinted off the scattered clouds, like a backdrop of baby’s breath.

As I soaked in the beauty of this celestial celebration, I was enveloped by an enormous wave of love. All I could think was that the sunrise was like a living, breathing, panoramic Valentine’s Day card, crafted by God just for me. The air thrummed with intimacy; I was seen, I was known, and I was wanted.  God wasn’t just smiling down on “the world” but on me individually.

God’s natural love notes

Since then, sunrises have become exquisite reminders of God’s love for me.

But it’s not just sunrises.

I’ve discovered that He sends me all sorts of nature-cloaked love notes throughout the year. There’s the jubilant honking of spring geese, the sun glowing on their wings; the shimmer of raindrops clinging to the honeysuckle bush on a wet summer evening; the festivity of pine grosbeaks mining lilac seeds from dry pods on a bright December day. I hear Him whisper in the softly falling snow. I see Him wink in the diamond-scattered night sky.

Every instance of bliss-infused beauty is a message from Him proclaiming his affection, notice, and interest in me. Just like a creative lover or a tender parent, He finds ways to delight my soul and woo my heart.

With each encounter, my heart fills up a little more as I move beyond the head knowledge of His love and enter more deeply into the actual experience of this sacred romance we’ve been invited into.

Take it personally

I’m a nature lover, and God clearly knows that. But perhaps you’re more primed to see God’s beauty and love through a mathematical equation, a musical refrain, or the graceful movement of an athlete.

Whatever it is, the next time you come across something that inspires deep joy, take it personally. Receive the moment as love note addressed to you, because with God, every day is Valentine’s Day.

My prayer for this week:

"May our roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may we be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for ourselves, though it is so great that we will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it."  Ephesians 3:17-19 TLB

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