A Different Kind of Valentine
What if a friend, relative or acquaintance listened
intently while we expressed our frustrations, concerns or desires,
without looking at their watch, or glancing over our shoulder, or
saying, “Sure, I have a minute?”
Or how would it feel if someone actually took the time to
shop for our birthday card, write a note, address the envelope, find a
stamp and mail it—the old fashion way? In both instances we’d feel
that we mattered, we counted, that someone cared.
I’m reminded of how Mary, who’d become the mother of
Jesus, traveled to visit Elizabeth to share her news. Mary needed a
listening ear to her apprehensions, to the awesome task ahead for she
and Joseph. Elizabeth had her own concerns as she too, carried an
important child, John the Baptist. Yet, nothing distracted her from
giving Mary her full attention.
And Jesus set the stage on how to give time. The story is
simple and some might say, “how sweet.” But Jesus’ example spoke
volumes. Jesus had little time to instruct His disciples before He’d
leave them. Every minute counted. And in Matthew 19: 13-15 were told
how the disciples too, felt the urgency. They wanted no disturbance to
interfere with their training, especially children. But the children
came. They wanted to spend time with Jesus. The disciples tried to
turn them away and were gruff. But Jesus rebuked them: “Let the little
children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the
kingdom of Heaven” (NKJV). Jesus set aside what the world and others
thought important. Nothing mattered more to the CEO of Heaven then to
hold and to bless the little ones. He set aside His agenda, and took
Our culture praises the art of multi-tasking. Without leaving the
house we can send an on-line greeting, gift cards, or order items sent
direct to a person’s home. And it’s easy to text someone and ask how
they are doing without it costing us time. But for those of us on the
receiving end, these quick fixes can make us feel like a number: A
check mark on someone’s to-do list.
Our biblical examples live out what Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend
loves at all times.” Listening and time: true gifts of love are not
given when it’s convenient, but at all times.
May we remember Jesus never treats us as with a quick fax, text, or
email. He gave His heart of love. And for an added bonus, we’re
promised in Psalm 121:3, “He who keeps you will not slumber, behold,
He who keeps [insert your name] shall neither slumber nor sleep.” He’s
near at all times to listen.
This year let’s give A Different Kind of Valentine by
making the effort to go the extra mile, and give our listening ear and
time to those we love, and those in need.