Yes. I wear red on Valentine’s Day. There was one Valentine’s Day, a few years ago, when I didn’t have anything red. I wore a shirt with very dark pink stripes, and I convinced myself that it was red. (Isn’t pink a lighter shade of red? After all, you can create pink by adding white paint to red paint.) And, of course, I wore red earrings. I cannot remember when I started wearing red on Valentine’s Day though. It definitely wasn’t when I was in primary school. Maybe secondary school – but then, how much red stuff did I have? Besides, we had to wear uniforms to school, so I doubt if I even wore red then. (It’s funny how much I do not remember.) I’ve been wearing red on Valentine’s Day for some years now. There must be something red on me – shirt, dress, shoes, earring, lingerie or hair ruffles – I have to have at least one red item.
I remember my first Valentine’s Day though. It wasn’t the first Valentine’s Day since I was born – I don’t remember that one and I certainly am not supposed to. On this Valentine’s Day, I was in primary four, and on our way back from school, one of our friends said “Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day”. “What is that?” I asked her, and she explained to me that it was a day of love. I still didn’t understand, so she explained to me that on Valentine’s Day, people buy gifts for the people they love, and that she was going to buy some gifts for her friends. It stuck. I didn’t have pocket monies then, so I couldn’t buy gifts for my friends, but I resolved to be extra kind to my friends on Valentine’s Day. And since then, Valentine’s Day has had a special spot in my heart.
What is your business with my discovery of or fondness for Valentine’s Day, you may wonder. Maybe I want you think differently about Valentine’s Day. There are different categories of people’s reactions to Valentine’s Day. Some people scorn this day. They think it is a sham, and that only fools give it any attention. They have different points of view, such as the argument that people should love every day, and not only on Valentine’s Day. I agree with you. People should love every day; people should worship God every day, but on Sunday’s we have special services in churches. People should celebrate life every day, but on New Year’s Day, we are extra conscious about the need to be thankful. People should be aware of HIV/AIDS, and Cancer, and Education, every day, but on some special days (World HIV/AIDS/Cancer/Education Day), we are reminded and special attention is given to these things. People should celebrate their mothers and fathers every day, but sometimes, we forget and Mother’s Day or Father’s Day jolts us, and we remember to send that special “Thank you” message to our parents. It’s the same way Valentine’s Day should jolt us to remember love and our loved ones and to remember to gift them with our love. We get so busy that we forget the little things, and then, Valentine’s Day comes, and love is in the air. It won’t hurt you to pause and do that special thing for someone. And if you’re one of the few people that remember to love all year round, then Valentine’s Day isn’t an exception. Go ahead and love that person up.
There’s another argument that people have turned Valentine’s Day into a day of lustful revelries or materialistic ventures. I agree with you too. But I still wear red on Valentine’s Day. The fact that people engage in “un-Christly” activities on Christmas Day, and claim to be doing it for the sake of Christmas doesn’t change the fact that Christmas Day is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and deleting Christmas Day from the calendar will not make them behave any better. Same thing applies to Valentine’s Day.
I know some people who are indifferent to Valentine’s Day. I can’t force them to give it special attention. But if you have a special someone who cares about Valentine’s Day the way I do, you can be indifferent to the day, but not to them. And, there are those that decide that Valentine’s Day is a day to engage in lustful revelries – they equate love with lust. Nope. Love isn’t about you or what you get. It is about what you give. That’s the difference between loving and lusting. One is thinking about giving of themselves to the other person, while the other is thinking about satisfying themselves with the other person. Love, please. In giving, you get, and in satisfying others, you get superior satisfaction.
There are the persons who are very single and probably heartbroken too, and don’t want to see red or hear “V”. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about lovers only. It is about love, and you can love anybody, anywhere. There are parents, siblings, wonderful friends, lonely neighbours, and other needy and vulnerable people. Remember, I said in giving, you get. What I didn’t add then is that you don’t necessarily get what you give, and you don’t necessarily get from who you have given. You get something divinely superior, when you give from a pure heart, because you draw the attention of the heavens, and they gift you with precious intangibles.
Please, note that giving on Valentine’s Day (and generally) is not about how much money you spend, or how artistic your gift is. It is about the heart you put into it. Remember the Bible story of the widow’s mite.
I am a fan of Valentine’s Day. I think there should be other special days too, like Sisters Day, Brothers Day, and Friendship Day. Just to remind us to pause and remember the special people in our lives. And, if everyone would just pause and love on Valentine’s Day; if we could freeze the world on that day, and take a snapshot. Just one day of no hate. Wouldn’t that be beautiful?
There is something divine about pure unconditional love. That’s what I remember the most about Valentine’s Day. I have known abandonment, rejection and betrayal, but I still believe in love, especially unconditional love. I have known it, and I want to give it too. When you see me in my red on Valentine’s Day, it’s because it reminds me of what I should know all year round, that love is beautiful. And it means that I am hopeful about life and love. It means that on this day, I will especially remember my siblings, parents and my friends. It means that I will send them loving messages (well as much as I can). It means that I am thinking of going out of my way to love someone. The red reminds me also of the blood of Jesus, and the symbol of unconditional love, that Jesus loves me and died for me. When you see me in my red, I am thinking about the cross, and about my Saviour, Lover and Friend. It means that I renew my commitment to love and be loved (even if I am loved only by God).