My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13)
Another Valentine's Day has arrived; a day of flowers, candy, romantic dinners, etc. Before I met Dee, Valentine's Day was a day I dreaded; it was the one day out of the year that reminded me like no other just how single and alone I was.
But five months from marriage, I am as equally thankful to have a special person to share the day with as I am remorseful at having felt single and alone all of those years. Truth be told, I never was. The greatest love I've ever known and ever will - Jesus Christ - was ever willing to spend each Valentine's Day with me; I just chose to be bitter and ignore Him instead. How could He sit idly by as another calendar year passed me by? Wouldn't He ever provide the woman of my dreams??
If I could turn back the hands of time to each February 14th for the past several years I would. I would replace those feelings of emptiness with feelings of love and appreciation for all that Christ had done for me. I would spend each of those days not feeling like a failure, but reflecting upon Him instead:
I would think about Christ's last days on earth and what it must have felt like to be:
- Betrayed with a kiss by one of His own
- Denied by His closest friend not once, not twice, but three times (all in the same night)
- Arrested and convicted for doing no wrong
I would imagine what it must have sounded like to hear:
- The cries for Barabbas & the shouts of Crucify Him! Crucify Him!
- The crown of thorns being shoved deep within His skull
- The sound of His own flesh being ripped from His back
I would imagine the pain He must have felt as:
- He carried His own cross
- Lots were being cast for His clothes
- Each nail was driven into His hands and feet
Sometimes I wonder just who Christ was thinking of as He was nailed to the cross. I like to think he thought of each of us by name; even a guy from New Jersey who would bitterly turn his back on Him year after year on February 14th.