Valentine’s Day is upon us.  Many will take advantage of this special day to let their loved ones and friends know that they are loved and appreciated. And while a lot of money will be spent for such remembrances, it is equally important for us to pause and reflect a bit.

Back in 1985, Whitney Houston captured our hearts and our imaginations, our hopes and our dreams, with her rendition of the incredible song, The Greatest Love of All.  I was a Principal of a school then, and had also just completed my Masters. I truly wanted to make sure the children in my care, were loved and cared for.  I wanted my staff and friends, my family and congregation, also to experience the tremendous power of genuine love. Yes, lofty hopes but if truth be told, those are still my hopes today!

This song speaks as powerfully today as it did 34 years ago.  I especially love this song because it closely parallels the message of the Scriptures, namely that “we are born in the image and likeness of God” (or whatever name you use to refer to the Divine).  It also truly brings home the message of Jesus, i.e., “we are called to love God and our neighbor as ourselves”!

Frankly, it’s impossible to have healthy and loving relationships if we do not honor and love ourselves.  Sometimes, we are so wrapped up in “the other”, that we forget we are worthy, and that we deserve the kind of compassionate and caring love that Jesus speaks of.

So, as you share your signs and symbols of love with those you treasure tomorrow, maybe we could also pause and take to heart the following that is spoken of both in the song and in the scriptures:

  • believe the children are our future…and teach them love not hate,
  • don’t walk in anyone’s shadow, walk beside them, not ahead or behind them,
  • love your neighbor as yourself, the entire human community,
  • expect to be treated with dignity, and treat others with dignity,
  • AND ALWAYS FIND YOUR STRENGTH IN LOVE, because you and I are made in the image of the Divine, in the image of LOVE!
“I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me
I decided long ago
Never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity…….
And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love!”

Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you…live and be HOPE and LOVE today, tomorrow and every day!

Sr. Debbie Blow