I have a dream. Specifically, I have three dreams about how to make Valentine’s Day awesome. And because I’ve learned that dreams are never really mine to keep and are also so much better when I give them away to people who have the time, resources, and talent to make them happen, I’m sharing them with all of you.
Who knows? You may be the person the Lord uses to bring it to life. And that would be awesome.
Dream One: Single Mother’s Valentine’s Day Celebration
This is one of my favorites. Last year as I was walking home from the train on Valentine’s Day, I watched a single mother and her toddler daughter come out of 7 Eleven with a hot pizza, and something inside me wanted more for them. Earlier that day my husband had booked it from his workplace in Brooklyn all the way up to my office in Manhattan just to hand deliver roses on his lunch break. I’m not normally one for flowers and chocolate, but just knowing that he was thinking about me totally made me smile. Being celebrated is a great feeling.
When I saw the woman and her daughter come out of 7 Eleven I wondered how often she’s told that she’s loved and appreciated for all the hard work she does and if she felt loved that night. I don’t normally like to make distinctions between “singles” and “couples,” but this is one exception. I want to rock Valentine’s Day for single mothers.
Churches, let’s do it up for our single mothers. And not just our single mothers, but the ones in our neighborhood. No one should have to eat alone on a day we talk about love. So let’s roll out the pink table cloths, put a few roses and sprigs of babies breath on the tables, and give them a night off from doing the serving by serving them a warm dinner, because we love them. And because it’s a holiday. And because everyone needs a party every now and then.
Dream Two: Heart Shaped Boxes
My church partners with an apartment building that offers free or low cost housing to HIV positive individuals and veterans. Meeting the people who live there has been awesome, and being able to show them love with small gifts like a hat and a pair of gloves has been even better.
The other day as I was browsing the 99 cent store, I couldn’t help but notice bins and bins of heart shaped boxes of chocolates for less than a dollar each. I know we all make sure the homeless and financially disadvantaged are feeling loved on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but what about that one day a year when every store in America bombards us with messages of “love” and not all of us feel loved?
How cool would it be to make sure that no one is forgotten on Valentine’s Day, especially those living in buildings like the one my church works with, or assisted living facilities, or hospitals. What if we as the Body of Christ got together and blessed the people in housing units like this with something as simple as a $1.00 heart shaped box of chocolates (assuming everyone was able to eat sugar and chocolate) or passed out handmade Valentine’s to show them how much they’re loved?
Dream Three: The Great Annual Lunch Swap
My friend Mandy wrote about 5 ways to show love on Valentine’s Day without spending any money, and in one of her posts she wrote about serving her husband by making lunch for him every evening before bed. The hubster and I have a similar routine of packing up all of our lunches on Saturday for the week ahead.
About 99% of the time I pack both the hubster’s lunches and my own, and I actually really like doing that for him. But I also love the idea of having a lunch swap, and once in a while letting him pack a lunch for me while I pack a lunch for him. Then when we opened our lunches the next day, we’d get to see the love and thought that our other half put into putting together a good meal.
It would be a super simple way to share an act of love with the people we love.
Ok, that’s it. What about you guys? Do you have any ideas of showing love to the people in your lives and your community?
Image by Stephanie Oh using some of favorite new clip art by depiano.