Thursday, February 14, 2013

To Love Is To Have Lost


Valentine's Day.
Singleness Awareness Day.
That Stupid Holiday To Make Single People Feel Bad.
The 14th Of February.
Thursday.
Just Another Day.

     So many meanings for a simple day on the calender. For many it is a day to celebrate and indulge in the romantic affections of one whom they believe to be their one true love. For many others it is a day that pinpoints their lack of something which society today places overmuch emphasis upon. For still others it is a day for brooding, for regrets, for dark admonishment of future lack of tenderness. The original sentiment is rather vague as legend surrounds much of this holiday's factual history. However, the general idea of this day seemed, originally, to be one of sacrifice. Not of the sappy, romantic sort espoused today; rather a deep giving of ones self, up to, and including, the giving of very life for the love of another.
     Although facts on the origins of this day are, as aforementioned, rather vague, the popular legend tells us of a Christian man who gave his life in defense of his faith. It was not for another man which he died, but because of his unwillingness to betray the One whom he had pledged his life to serve.
     Now I'd like to probe the lore of the first Valentine's Day card. Saint Valentine, as he came to be called, performed marriages and shared messages of hope and love with the government's troops. This was forbidden as such romantic sentiments were thought to make men weak and ineffective in battle. As a result of this outlawed practice, Valentine was brought before Emperor Claudius II to face judgement. The emperor was impressed with Valentine's sincere expression of God's love through his services and recognized the potential usefulness of such dedication. After trying to persuade Valentine to reject his faith and join the Roman empire as a priest of their order, Claudius was then almost persuaded to believe in the Christian faith by Valentine's refusal and earnest confessions of God's love for Claudius! However, this attempt was unsuccessful and resulted in Valentine's imprisonment awaiting execution. While in prison, Valentine grew to know the jailer and his family. One of the jailer's daughters had been born with a handicap, being completely blind. Valentine, being an earnest servant of God and not wanting to see another human suffer in this life, earnestly implored God to restore the young daughter's sight. As a result of his fervent prayer, the young daughter was miraculously granted that ability which she lacked since birth. As a result of his role in this work of God, Valentine grew very close to this young woman, perhaps even reaching that celebrated moment of "falling in love".

THIS IS THE PART I WANT YOU TO SEE

On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he sent a letter to the jailer's young daughter, whom he had become romantically close to. He signed this letter "from your Valentine", and this is where we are said to have got the concept of calling the cards we send "Valentines". But my point is this: his love for her, his desire to enjoy her company, his yearning to hear her voice, see her face, feel her touch, were overshadowed by his actual act of love in allowing himself to be put to death. He could have given in to his yearnings, he had an avenue of escape. All he had to do was profess his faith in the Roman church and he would have been freed. Free to live a life of expected bliss with the woman he so desperately longed for. The modern world would say "why did he let himself die? If he truly loved her, he wouldn't let anything stop him from being with her". And they couldn't be more wrong. Valentine knew he would be committing a supremely selfish act by putting his desires above those of his God to see him serve Him till death. How would it be a loving act to put forth a selfish example for his beloved to follow? and knowing that it was God's will for him to die, would that not mean that God had a different will for his beloved to follow as well? So to betray his faith and take her to his side would be to deny her the possibility of living out the life of glorious service and joy which God had planned for her. How would that be an act of love? No, denying his own desires, putting HER well being and God's desires above his own, THIS was the ultimate act of love. Willing to do what he knew was best for his beloved, even if it meant his complete separation from her, even to his death.
     So my question for you is, is this the love you practice? Does it serve to fulfill YOUR wants and desires? Or does it look to provide a wiser, more fulfilled walk for those you profess affection for? I even hear "I just want her/him to be happy", oh really? And that's why you continue to contaminate their life with your selfish desires, unwise advice, and immoral lusts? If you cannot further their fulfillment of their ultimate goal in life, being as close to the will of the Creator as possible, then YOU DON"T BELONG IN THEIR PERSONAL LIFE. I have realized this, I have yet to accept it. It's a harsh reality. But I needed to share it.

As a nursery rhyme has spoken well
The roses in life are stained blood red
As a life pierced through by thorn
A heart that to emotion will sell
It's wisdom will then be led
Till all it's tenderness is shorn

Violets that speak of the sky
Holding a pleasing, gentle hue
Having no concept of their value
So a life will swallow that lie
Not knowing their worth is due
To the ignored beyond the blue

     -Armas

4 comments:

  1. Love, Noah. Beautiful. Challenging. Exhorting. Very well said. Going to share it now. :)

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  2. Wow. That's so powerful. I really enjoyed reading this. I didn't know all of that about Valentine!

    Sarah is right, this is very challenging and exhorting and very well said. hard truth to take but i've been more blessed by hard truths than pleasant lies in my lifetime. God has been working on me in this area as well. Selfless/unconditional/Christ-centered/sacrificing/love as God does it...so different from the love the world goes on and on about... but the worth it kind. that's the kind that saved me. and that the kind i want to learn to have/give/do.

    Again, great writing. awesome. convicting. please continue to share.

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  3. Thank you Jessica! I agree, it is a difficult mindset to achieve but well worth the relationships that result from it's mastery.

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