Yosemite 2011 DSC_0735The Bible within itself is a love story, addressed to all mankind, from our heavenly Father. It serves as book-ends to many accounts of love and romance. One of my favorites is the story written by King Solomon in 960 BC. He speaks of his courtship with a Shulammite maiden. He writes: “I want you to promise O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right” (Song of Songs 8:4 Tyndale). This beautiful verse underscores the dignity of love in marriage. I have composed the following poem to illustrate my thoughts:

Do not awaken my love until it matures;
nor take from me the flower of my youth.
Let it bud into the most beautiful of all flowers,
lest it’s pedals wither and fall to the ground.
There, to become a faded dream,
lost in the shadow of youthful yesterdays.

Every year February lends a very special day to all grandmothers, mothers, sweethearts and little girls of the world. And not to be left out, the granddads, dads and little boys too, share in February 14th, because it affords them the opportunity to show their affection through giving chocolates, roses and even their hearts to that cherished person. Valentine’s Day comes to us in celebration of Valentinius, a third century Roman saint. However, the celebration of Saint Valentine did not have romantic connotations until Chaucer’s poetry about Valentine’s Day in the 14th century. Like many celebrations and holidays, it has morphed with time to more closely meet the whims of society.

If indeed Valentine’s Day has changed, my wife for one wants to keep it just the way it is – she loves all botanical variations of roses. After all, Valentine’s Day is the epitome of romance and love; as such, it certainly warrants celebration. As you read my blog think about your most romantic encounter. The picture you see should take you back to a time and place that ranks right at the top of your list…Lesson – If you hold onto this memory it will likely become the key that locks your hearts together through all the issues you face in life.

I experienced one of my high points while standing with my wife in the cool mist of Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite NP. Folklore says that the wind driven mist that blankets the granite cliff resembles a bride’s veil and if you breathe the mist it will improve your chances of love, romance and marriage. Having been married for many years my thoughts carried me behind that misty veil. As I lifted the veil I saw the most beautiful of all flowers struggling against the heavy rain drops of life but emerging every day; still my favorite valentine. The beautiful petals had not withered with age neither had they fallen to the ground. Lesson – Give a valentine that keeps on giving moment-by-moment, day-by-day and year-after-year, your undying love.

Take-Away – My book Living Life does not present God as one who passes out valentine gifts; but instead as a loving Father who above all else wants to establish a relationship with you. As my book points out He gave us the greatest of all valentines, His son Jesus Christ. The Gift is yours; all you have to do is open it. His valentine is truly the gift of eternal life.
Next week – Back to Part II of Inspiration (hope you enjoyed the romantic diversion).

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