Thursday, February 14, 2013

Basic, simple, beautiful love


Well, here's another post in the blogosphere about love...on Valentine's Day. How cliché, right? Actually, this post is going to be a little different than many out there today.

So, Valentine's Day...as I've probably mentioned before, I've never been a huge fan. It may very well stem from high school, watching all the girls whine and complain when their "boyfriends" didn't get them what they wanted or didn't make a huge spectacle professing their "love" for them. Whatever the case, when I think of Valentine's day, I often think of how self-centered people get on this holiday. So, like I said, never been a huge fan.

Today changed my perspective, though. I had lunch with a friend and decided to grab a few things at Target before heading home. While I was there I joined a mob of 10-15 men frantically sorting through what was left of Valentine's cards, and picked up a card for my hubby (thankfully, the first one I picked up was perfect). As I walked to the checkout line I randomly got in line and noticed there were several women and a handful of kids who appeared to be about early high school age. A few more kids came filing in past my cart to get in line with their friends and a woman came alongside my cart, apologizing for the boys being "rude" and cutting in front of me. Just then, one of the boys turned with a big smile on his face and said, "I got my mom the perfect Valentine gift!", as he held up a 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew. Then it hit me.  Here in front of me was a group of high schoolers and their Special Education teachers on an outing as part of their Life Skills class. I smiled at the teacher who kept apologizing and assured her I was in no hurry. She continued to apologize for the kids talking loudly due to their excitement. That's when I finally said to her, "I've got a daughter with special needs - I totally GET IT!". Instantly you could see a look of relief come over her face.

The students excitedly showed me what they were buying for their parents for Valentine's day and it was wonderful to share their excitement and visit with them briefly. What struck me the most, though, was the items they'd picked out for their parents weren't what someone would typically give as a gift on Valentine's day. There were no bouquets of flowers, chocolates, or even cards for that matter. Nope, these beautiful kids had picked out simple things like an ice scraper with a mitt to keep your hand warm {the boy told me his mom always says her hands get cold when she scrapes the windshield}, and a 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew {this boy said his Mom was really tired this morning because he couldn't go to sleep last night}, and some new socks. Basic, practical gifts that most people would be "offended" to receive on Valentine's day. It nearly brought me to tears watching these kids beaming with their thoughtful gifts, so excited to wrap them up and give them to their parents. They weren't concerned about impressing anyone or making sure they spent a certain amount {because that's what matters, right? ;)}.  Nope, they had very intentionally picked out items to meet the basic needs of their caregivers in an effort to show their love for them. Now THAT is love.

I've been thinking about this all afternoon and I can't get over how my quick trip to Target today opened my eyes to the beauty of Valentine's day – the "non-commercialized" version of Valentine's day, that is. What a great reminder that showing your love for someone doesn't have to be a big extravagant production. Just think how much God loves each one of us. These kids in line at Target understood exactly what their parents really needed...just as God knows each one of us and what we truly need vs. what we think we need. Oh what I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall as these kids give their gifts today!

"Lord, you have seen what is in my heart.
    You know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
    You know what I’m thinking even though you are far away.
You know when I go out to work and when I come back home.
    You know exactly how I live.
Lord, even before I speak a word,
    you know all about it."
Psalm 139:1-4

May you feel the love of God on this Valentine's day, trusting that He has your best interest in mind and knows the type of love you really need!


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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post and wonderful reminder of what Valentines Day should be about.

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