Today is Valentine’s Day. The stores have been full of chocolate, pink and red hearts, little stuffed bears with pillows that say “Be mine,” and shiny jeweled lockets for weeks. It’s the holiday dedicated to celebrating love and the ones we love.
Recently, we found a video featuring author Brene Brown. She returned to the church during what she describes as a midlife crisis, and she expected it to solve all of her problems and take away all of her pain. However, what she found was a God who sat with her through the pain, who wept with her, and who brought life out of death.
“I believe God is love,” Brown says. “It makes total sense to me that Jesus would have to be the Son of God, because people would want love to be like unicorns and rainbows, and so then, you see Jesus, and people go, ‘Oh, love is hard. Love is sacrifice. Love is eating with the sick. Love is breaking break with people. Love is trouble. Love is rebellious.’ … Love is not easy. Love is not like hearts and bows. Love is very controversial, really.”
This Valentine’s Day, we’re challenging you to embrace a love that is more than flowers and chocolate, stuffed bears, and heart-shaped candy. Break bread with those people who it hurts you to love. Eat with the sick. Hold the hands of the lame and the blind. Show the world a love that is controversial. Choose one practical, tangible way to demonstrate that kind of love, and live it out this month.
Brown’s experience coming back to faith was nothing like what she expected, but it was exactly what she needed. “I thought faith would say, ‘I’ll take away the pain and discomfort,’” Brown said, “but what it ended up saying was, ‘I’ll sit with you in it.’ And I never thought until I found it, that that would be enough. But it’s perfect. I don’t feel alone in it anymore.”
Who can you sit with this Valentine’s Day? Who can you show love to? Who can you weep with? Jesus wept. God grieves with us. Love weeps. As Brown says, “That changes everything.” That kind of love changes everything.
Watch Brene Brown’s video here.
Scripture quoted was 1 John 4:8-12.