Tuesday was Valentine’s Day plus one.  The big celebration of love is over for another year.  The candy is mostly eaten, the flowers not quite so brilliant, the cards are on the mantle, and life is returning to the ordinary.


Tuesday was Valentine’s Day plus one.  The big celebration of love is over for another year.  The candy is mostly eaten, the flowers not quite so brilliant, the cards are on the mantle, and life is returning to the ordinary.  I hope that everyone lived a true and deep moment of love. It is important to pause and recognize this blessed human possibility. For most folks love is the No. 1 goal in life. To love and to be loved seems to be a universal longing in the hearts of humanity. It is good that we have Valentine’s Day to celebrate that desire.
But in reality, Valentine’s Day is for and about lovers. This is the day set aside each year to recognize, give thanks for and celebrate the love shared with one person. It is a day to revel in a relationship two people share. It is a day to look deeply into the eyes of a lover and see the love that is there for you. It is a day to rejoice that there is one other person who has chosen you above all others. There are many expressions of love: family, friends, country, even the love for the glowing  beauty of creation. But Valentine’s Day is a day of concentration of all attention upon one. It is a day for lovers.
Those of us who have found such a relationship, who live in such blessing, who have chosen and been chosen, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful celebration. It is my sweetheart’s day, my beloved’s day; it is my spouse’s day. I may love many persons, and cherish many people, but I’ve only one valentine, and every year, I ask her to again “be my valentine.”
Yet, in all that joy and excitement, I always remember those whose valentine is no longer with them.  Those whose Valentines have been lost to death, or are suffering in serious illness, or have sadly betrayed love and abandoned the person who once was a valentine. To those who find themselves alone, experiencing grief or sadness, Valentine’s Day must be a bitter-sweet day. Perhaps sweet memories of past loves and lovers become mixed with the bitterness of lonely grief or painful severance. Valentine’s Day can be an especially difficult time. In all the joy of the day, we must remember those who for whatever reason receive no cards, or candy, or flowers or symbols of love and devotion from a lover. Those with much love must not forget those with little. Too often we forget those for whom love is but a memory and a hope.  We must remember those who live the sadder side of Valentine’s Day.
But for another year Valentine’s Day is past.  May those for whom it was bittersweet continue to hope for next year when love will be real and near and true.  It is a worthy hope.

Always in hope….

Fr. Bob Layne (Episcopal Priest- retired)
McPherson, Kansas