Yesterday was good old faithful February 14th. Valentine's Day. Some people cringe or get anxiety at the thought of this day while others wait in anticipation for what surprise may be at their doorstep or office cubicle. I'm indifferent to the day. Even though yesterday I did have a flashback to when I was 17 years old. A boy presented me with flowers and a Bath and Body Works lotion/body wash arrangement. It was sweet and awkward all at the same time. Ha! Haven't thought about that day in years. Anyways, all day yesterday - as I saw stands full of flowers, candy and cards - I kept wondering where did this holiday come from. Did someone make it up? If so, I wish I was that guy. Besides the obvious monetary compensation for creating such a celebrated holiday - I bet he/she gets a lifetime supply of chocolate and valentines. How fun is that?!?
Well, thanks to the ever so reliable Wikipedia, I was able to answer my question of where Valentine's Day came from. I'm sure I probably learned it during some V Day party in 3rd grade but who remembers anything from 3rd grade? Not me at least. Except I did win the spelling bee. That was a cool day. And I do remember wearing leggings with stirrups. Okay, I know. I digress. So V Day is a day that celebrates love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more Christian martyrs, Saint Valentine.
So naturally, I was more intrigued with the word “martyr” then anything else in the article. A martyr is a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause. How gnarly is that? (And yes I just said gnarly. I’ve been living in southern California for almost three years!) Talk about sacrifice and devotion - to believe in something so deeply, to sacrifice so much, and be so ever devoted to be willing to experience great suffering or even death for that something or someone! Ok, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on what people say during their vows. “…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
The words that make up wedding vows are equally as intense as the words that define a martyr. They both exhibit an utter love and devotion to something that will carry on to the end, death. Geesh. After reading Kara’s post last week and writing this – I am being challenged in what I think love and marriage to be and what it is really meant to be. My hope is that we all can be people that appreciate the little things like candy hearts and teddy bears, but never forget the big things such as the commitment to love another and sacrifice everything for the greater purpose.