Use Valentine’s Day to brighten someone’s life

Remember back to Valentine’s Day when you were in grade school.

Teachers either had you bring in a suitable box or somehow (in the way it seemed only elementary teachers could do) provided the boxes. Magically, near the end of a school day about a week before Valentine’s Day, construction paper, paper lace doilies, paste, scissors and all sorts of other accouterments appeared and the boxes were decorated.

The boxes were prominently displayed in the classroom and, daily, classmates deposited either homemade or little paper, or thin cardboard commercial greetings in preparation for the big day when those pretty boxes would be opened. I can still picture the scene in my own home when Mom and I sat at the dining room table to sign and put names on those little envelopes.

I suppose part of the hoopla about the day was that there had now been six weeks of school after the Christmas break and everyone, teachers included, needed something to dispel winter’s darkness and forced inside activities.

I was probably in second or third grade when the lone Boy Scout in our school brought boxed chocolate bunnies for his friends. I received one! That was a pretty big deal, because not everyone did!

I cherished that boxed chocolate treat and kept it safely on a shelf as long as I possibly could. Finally, however, my desire for chocolate outweighed my joy in simply owning that treat and it met its demise. I mean, a kid who didn’t get very much candy could only hold onto a treasure for a short time until it became necessary to eat it.

As an adult, I look back and realize that treasured gift was probably not really a wish from my classmate. We were nothing more than childhood friends, like every other classmate. But our mothers were friends! You know, sometimes it’s just better to accept things in the innocence of childhood than to look back when you’ve grown up and analyze what happened.

Since that classmate went on to his heavenly reward many years ago, I can’t even ask him if he remembers that chocolate bunny. I do know I thanked him for it. After all, the “thank you” was ingrained in my childhood training, both at home and at school. And I do know that little gift made that Valentine’s Day very special to at least one little girl in that class.

Now it is time for that celebration once again. Again, it has been six weeks since all the excitement of Christmas. There have been many dark days. Yes, it’s time for a bit of celebration.

One of the ladies Kelly and I visit at the nursing home has her birthday on Valentine’s Day. This week when we visited, I took her a birthday card signed “Love, Kelly and Helen.” Handing it to her, I said,”You can either open this now or wait until Friday.” With such a sweet smile of gratitude, she took the card and said, “Oh, I’ll wait until Friday.”

She has children who live close enough to be there for her birthday, but it just seemed pretty special to her that I brought her a card. Such a simple thing to do but so greatly appreciated.

That’s just one small thing each of us could do for someone – especially someone shut in from their normal life activities. Though simple and inexpensive, it may be the turning point for that person to see God’s love lavished on them. Why not give it a try?

God is LOVE. “We love Him because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19)

Happy Valentine’s Day “With love from Your friend, Jesus.”