By Joan Clayton : Religion Columnist
Remember when you received all of those wonderful valentines in grade school? You carefully read each one noting with great eagerness the sender’s signature.
What about those little heart candies with all kinds of love notes? I took them seriously.
I thought every boy in the room was in love with me.
Who forgets that adolescent first love? The excitement, the tingling feeling, and the burst of fireworks made it seem like July 4th every day. Memories still linger in our heart of hearts. Just being in your sweetheart’s presence was everything. When apart, the anticipation of seeing each other again brought skyrockets.
I vividly remember that special valentine from my first love. With butterflies in my stomach, just a glimpse of that “sweetheart” sent the adrenaline flowing. I married that first love.
I loved Valentine’s Day while teaching school. I received at least 1,000 valentines in 31 years of teaching. They meant so much to me and I always read each one to my class. I can still see their sparkling eyes. I received a special valentine from a grownup ex-student one year. It holds a special place in my heart:
“Dear Mrs. Clayton, thank you for so many things. You showed this shy little boy how easy it was to learn. It’s been several years since the second grade, but I’m still learning. I still remember you. I will never forget you. I will always thank you and I will always love you. Your second grade student always.”
I saw Jesus in this letter. From the heart of a former student I could say the same thing to Jesus.
The Bible has stood the test of time. It is for you, not only on Valentine’s Day, but every day. It contains the greatest stories of love for all mankind.
Tears streamed down my face as I listened to our youngest son pledge his love to his beautiful bride with these words from The Song of Solomon 8:6-7:
“Put me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm. Love is as strong as death; jealousy is as strong as the grave. Love bursts into flames and burns like a hot fire.
Even much water cannot put out the flame of love; floods cannot drown love. If a man offered everything in his house for love, people would totally reject it.”
I am a real romantic. I’m thrilled by the story of sweethearts in Song of Solomon. The love between Abraham and Sarah touches me. I think of the love Jacob had for Rachel by working 14 years for her hand.
Who can fathom the love of Ruth for her mother-in-law?
“Entreat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee.” (Ruth 1:16). How about the love Queen Esther had that saved a nation? I’ll always remember her statement, “If I perish, I perish.”
These courageous people had an extraordinary amount of love.
I like to think of God’s word being a valentine to earth.
The Bible contains love unequaled and it is sent every day. He expresses to you and me the greatest love the world has ever known or will ever know. In this special love, he tells you how unique, special and precious you are. His word contains comfort, confidence, counsel, protection, favor, abundance, healing, wisdom, knowledge and anything else his children need.
God’s love letter to you is to be opened every day. He is your sweetheart of all time. The Bible is a love gift and tells about the greatest gift ever given to mankind.
His name is Jesus.