If you were expecting a beautiful, mushy Valentine's Day post, you're not going to get it.
This is for those of you - like me - who are 'alone' for Valentine's Day.
I say 'alone' because you're not really alone, and here's why.
Do you know the story behind Valentine's day?
The real story?
Well, I do.
And while I don't remember the specifics, I can tell you the gist of it.
There was a man named Valentine (Italian, probably) who was going to be hanged at dawn, at the first ringing of the bell.
Don't ask me what for, but I think it was murder.
Dawn came, and he was led to the scaffold.
Per the order, the executioners waited for the ringing of the bell.
They never heard it.
One of the officials went to the bell tower and demanded to know why the bell hadn't been rung yet.
The bell ringer explained that he had been ringing the bell, but it hadn't been working.
They went to examine it, and when they looked up at it, they saw Valentine's young wife clinging to the clapper: her body had silenced the ringing.
By the time they got her out, she was half dead. They asked her why she had done that, and she replied simply that she loved her husband. She died not too long afterwards.
Deciding the debt owed the state had been paid by one life, the official released Valentine, who - I assume - went on to become a saint somehow.
Does that story ring a bell?
It's a terrible pun, but the question stands.
Valentine's Day isn't about roses and cutesy poetry and chocolate and sheepish grins and Cupid and pink hearts and dates.
It's about sacrificial love.
It's about laying one's life down for another.
And hopefully, that sounds familiar to all of us.
And that's why you're never alone.
I understand that it can hurt to be without a significant other during Valentine's Day: I didn't think I would be 'alone' this year, but I am.
And that's okay.
I'm not really alone.
And neither are you.
We are loved beyond measure by One who will never let us go.
We are loved by One who took our place of punishment and death.
So Happy Valentine's Day.
For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son
that whoever believes on Him
should not perish
but have eternal life.