This year we find that Valentine’s Day, the Day of Love and for lovers, is intertwined with the beginning of the Christian holy day of Ash . It should be a perfect opportunity to marry the two topics, as it seems they have at times been at odds with one another.
Jesus had spoken of the personal quest of each individual as we struggle with our own lives, our own sins and sorrows, and as we fall in love and marry, and then commit to our partners as we grow older, we see our lives change. We strive to become closer to our spouses and partners, and in doing so we want to be able to give of ourselves to the ones we love. That should not be a dilemma, and yet, at times, it seems to be a push and pull on our time, on our senses, and on our mental capacity to be a Christian and to be a loving partner.
The answer, as is the case for all our deepest and darkest fears, is to look to Christ to show us the way. He has told us that he will lift the yoke and carry the burden. And we shall be better for it, as we learn to breathe, take it all in, and to realize that we will never be a perfect yin to the yang of any human, no matter how much we love them. We must look to the scriptures that teach us to deal with the admittedly heavy burdens we often share in life.
God never calls on us to be perfect, but always to have faith and to believe in him. If we can learn to let go, and then to heal ourselves not simply one day at a time, but one hour to the next, and with communion through prayer and with steady faith, we see the path forward. Life has never been guaranteed to be a bed of roses, but the idea of stopping to smell the roses is a perfect metaphor for our enjoyment of life, of love and our commitment to each other on this Valentine’s Day.