Valentine’s Day is a day to bring out our insecurities. He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me …. I remember the trauma of being in the Brownies, making our Valentine cards and being asked to share who our card was for. I mentioned a guy in my class not realising that his sister was part of the group so she ran straight away to tell him. My lovely card with a scrunched-up-tissue-paper-balls-heart was never delivered. The shops are full of fancy cards, fluffy toys and every other thing you might need while making a grand gesture of love, but really how many of these grand gestures are declarations of love and how many are really questions. Do we say: ‘I love you’, or are we really asking ‘Do you love me?’ How many times when we declare our love to another are we declaring a fact and how many times are we seeking their reassurance.
My husband asked me to be his Valentine with some lovely smelling roses and some yummy tasting chocolates. As I was about to drive out of the driveway he stopped me and fixed the locks on my car doors – that is really Ramos speak for ‘I love you’, more so than flowers and chocolates. It is in the real everydayness of life that ‘I love you’ has meaning, not in the extravagant grand gestures. I’ve noticed the same in scriptures. Yes, God extravagantly loves us through the death of his son on the cross, but it is also in the everydayness. I have been teaching a class on Romans and in prep this weekend I got caught up in this verse:
Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry to us is to assure us of God’s love.
God knows that we are insecure, that we have been hurt and disappointed, just as we have hurt and disappointed others. So he has tasked the Holy Spirit to be that everyday quite voice in our hearts that whispers each day to us: Yes I love you, Yes I love you. So in the days when the grand spectacular signs of love are missing, in the humdrum ordinariness of life, God reassures us, even if you do see something big today, ‘Yes I love you’. And with God I love you is a fact, not a question.