Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!!

This has to be one of my least favorite make-believe holidays.

SO much fanfare over something SO contrived, it's everything I don't want to be.

But (there's always a but), this year I've been pondering the whole thing.

It started yesterday afternoon when one of my students brought a tube of henna to school.  I love henna.  I love the art.  I love the brown tint.  I love the cool feel as it's applied to the hand.   I had to have my turn.

My amazing senior happily volunteered.  I showed her a picture online, and she went to work.  The result was amazing.  My plan was to take a picture and post it last night.  But, something stopped me. I wasn't ready yet.

This morning, at 4:30, I decided to finally take that picture.  Not in my dressy work clothes, but in my nasty gym clothes.

I love the picture not because I am a hand model, but because I love the contrast between the beautiful with the ugly.  My clothes often play off that contrast.  I love jeans with pearls and heels.  I love dresses with converse.  It is so completely me.

And, as I lifted weights this morning, I thought about that contrast.  And, I thought about how that contrast goes beyond my wardrobe and into my friends.

My closest friends aren't perfectly perfect people.  And, they aren't people who try to be.  They're people who'll worship Jesus while weeping.  They'll love their children desperately while struggling deeply with doubt and insecurity about their parenting.  They walk toward holiness while breaking down over their wretchedness.  I love them.

I gave a devotional a few weeks go about what part of the body of Christ I am.  I picked appendix- no one really knows the point of it, and if it causes troubles, it's removed without a second thought. Some people thought I was being negative.  For me, it was quite the opposite.

I know that God put the appendix in for a reason.  Just because holy people haven't figured me out doesn't mean that Christ doesn't have a purpose for me.  I'm the beautiful in the ugly.  I'm the ugly in the beautiful.  It fits perfectly.

By set 3 of shoulder flys at the gym, I couldn't move my arms, but the thought had gotten a little farther.  (Or is it further?  Hmm.)  The thought made me think that Valentine's Day- the day of love- is wasted on the young and the young in love.   They're all a flutter with romance.  I talked to lots of old married people today and asked what they're doing to celebrate.  A couple movie at home couples, a few grab a quick bite couples, quite a few "it's Tuesday.  I'm going to bed early" folk.  We laughed at how we're old.

But, I think maybe old love is the beauty of love shining through the ugly.  Tony and I have had our rough times.  Like for the last 18 months.  Like I want out so badly some days, I can't buy plane tickets fast enough.  But, I'm here, and we'll be heading to dinner soon.  We won't swoon over candlelight.  There will be no gazing into each others' eyes.  There will be 2 battle-weary veterans who aren't willing to walk away from each other having a meal.  We have enough fight left in us to try- to believe that Love will prevail.   And, I wonder if that's more what actual love looks like.

To an oozy gooey love next Valentine's Day,

Obligatory picture of roses Tony got me


Grams 24 said…
The artwork is amazing!! Your ponderings are thought-provoking.
And your roses are gorgeous!!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Mama Crizon said…
I normally read your posts in my email, but I had to come over and comment on this one. That picture and the contrast of beautiful and ugly...yes! I think we are drawn to that dichotomy because it is REALITY.

One other point to ponder is who defines "beautiful" and "ugly"? To you, your nasty workout pants were ugly, but I thought "Wow, those are cool pants! Where can I get some?" I'm sure that once we are able to see our lives (or life on Earth in general) from a heavenly perspective, much of it will be as you say. The Father looking at these two war-of-life beaten soldiers choosing to keep on pressing on towards the goal is indeed beautiful and love-ly. Pun intended. ;-)

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