Tuesday 15 February 2022

A Day Late

Yesterday was St Valentine's Day.  St Valentine was imprisoned for his faith.  He was beheaded and buried on February 14th 269 AD for helping persecuted Christians and marrying Christian couples.  While in prison he prayed for his jailer's daughter and her blindness was healed.  On the day of his execution, he left her a note signed: Your Valentine.

I rather like this prayer from Pete Greig (although I don't necessarily agree with the 2nd paragraph)

I pray today for those in love, those out of love, and those in between. I remember especially those who find themselves a little bit lonelier than normal.

I do not pray today for loved-up couples, exchanging overpriced flowers and foil-wrapped hearts, leaking pheromones like diesel fumes at candlelit dinners. I’m pretty sure, Lord, they will be OK (for now).  (I think we all need prayer, however 'loved-up' we think we are).

Instead, I hereby dedicate this happy-crappy day to all the brave teenagers who dared to send a card (hoping in vain with every fibre of their being for something back). Let them be a little bit more OK because I prayed.

I think of the mother, coping alone, who quietly bought herself flowers yesterday. Let her kids be kind today. Let her teenagers tidy their bedrooms. And if that's a miracle too far (I realise You've got a lot on in the world right now), could they at least initiate a hug at bedtime. And, Lord, let those daffodils she bought herself last longer and shine brighter than those overpriced red roses that also caught her eye.

Finally, I ask You to look upon the elderly gentleman gazing today at a fading sepia photograph in a silver frame of a wedding in another time. Look at him and look with him and be with him in the remembering and the unremembering too. 

King of Love, on this day named after one of your unmarried saints, embrace the unlovely and the unloving parts of the world and of myself today. 

Song of Songs, inspire surprising turns of phrase and simple thoughtful acts, scatter sparks and rekindle the fires of romance wherever marriages are mired in the mundane. Melt our tiny, tinny expensive chocolate hearts.

And forgive me today, I pray, for this cheap, gaudy, hysterical, isolating thing I have sometimes somehow tried to make of love and of You.

The cynical side of me feels Valentine is the patron saint of card factories and florists.  Despite that, for 40 years Roger and I have exchanged cards and he has bought me flowers.

If you didn't receive flowers yesterday, please share mine.  You are welcome to download this photo.

And if you fall into any of the categories in the prayer above, please know that people all over the world were thinking of you and praying for you yesterday, through the prayer App: Lectio 365.

Thanks for reading to the end.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Bernice. Yes, the 2nd paragraph is a little strange, I agree. Your flowers are lovely, thank you for sharing them. May God continue to bless you and Roger with much love, life and laughter together.


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