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Posted February 14, 2010


Caravaggio's Amor Vincit Omnia

I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon. ~Author Unknown

There is a critter who throws out love darts. The snail. And most everyone thinks a snail is nothing more than escargot or something to avoid stepping on while barefoot. The snail sends a dart flying and when the weapon is lodged in the victim of its amor, desire becomes imminent. Some leave their shells to dance with another, totally smitten with their love.

Of course, with all of those darts flying around, red would be the color of rose associated with Valentine's Day, though some girls love pink.

I'm a red Valentine girl myself. I remember being in grade school and transforming my shoe box into a homemade Valentine receptacle. I covered it with aluminum foil and then pasted cut-out red hearts with arrows on the side along with more decorative Valentines and lace. Once the slit in the top of the box had been cut, I agonized over the Valentines to send. Girls were no problem. I didn't want to send a Valentine to interest a boy for whom I felt no attraction and boys at that age had cooties anyway. They'd follow a girl around at recess. The teacher made it easier when she said, "You must send everyone a Valentine." That certainly eased the pressure. Then no one would know who I really liked.

Thank goodness Jesus doesn't play favorites. I couldn't help but wonder if I would have sent Him a Valentine in grade school if the teacher hadn't made me. The prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 53:2-3, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not."

Isaiah also said, "He will not judge with His eyes or decide by what He hears with His ears; but with righteousness." (Isa 11:3-4) I imagine that if Valentines had been popular in Jesus' day, He would have sent every child a Valentine without the teacher's orders. He wouldn't have judged me by my outward appearance or even checked to see if I had cooties or missing teeth or a Tony's home perm gone bad.

His Valentine would have said simply, "I love you - so much, I will suffer on the cross when I grow up with love darts in my hands, my feet, and my side. I'll be with you all of the time, not just recess and I'll heal you when others have hurt you - I'll be your hero. I'll save you. If you'll accept this Valentine of love, follow me."

My invitation didn't come in a Valentine but I did receive the message. It made me leave my shell and dance in the street.

Happy Valentine's Day

Love dart and dancing snails courtesy of Wikipedia.

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