UL Providers
Off the Wall, February 11,

As long as we have the attitude of charity in our lives, then our minds are set in the right direction. And isn’t that what February 14 is all about? Some people will only call it Valentine’s Day, while others, St. Valentines Day. What it really comes down to is the fact that it has turned out to be a time set apart from the other 351 days of the year where individuals have one thing in mind, ‘giving’ something to someone he or she loves.

Now, I accented the word ‘giving,’ because I wanted to highlight the idea that it is not a day set aside to think about what another is going to take or receive. Really, how stupid would that be? Do you think there is any possibility that persons might state, “Man, I can’t wait until Valentine’s Day gets here. I know my wife is going to get me something really cool.” I hope not.

As far back as I can remember, I recall fellow elementary students drawing hearts with crayons on colored construction paper and then folding the ‘artwork’ and shoving it into a decorated box whereby the pictures would be drawn by the teacher and awarded to each student. Note the giving action by the teacher to the students. She didn’t state, “These are all mine, and I know how much you pupils care for me, so I will look forward after class to see how much you all care for me.” ‘Not,’ as the expression goes, nowadays.

What these kids usually drew as their artwork displayed were ‘hearts,’ a symbol of love. Even though I don’t remember more than stated, I do recall some of the illustrated pictures.

Love is all about giving from the heart. It goes without saying that this is why one will draw a heart next to his or her name when handing someone a greeting card of sorts. It doesn’t only have to be one of Valentine’s Day. Anything given to another with a heart drawn next to the giver’s name will signify that something was given as result of a heartfelt notion.

Think of all the different food items that have that shape this time of the year. Actually, this date has become so commercialized that it has become a day whereby retailers have cashed in on chances to make this date a standout along side Black Friday, after-Christmas and other big yearly sales.

For the florist, for example, it is one time whereby more roses are sold to customers than any other time of the year may it be holidays or other occasions. What do these flowers signify? Well, we all know that answer – love. If I want to give my ‘sweetie’ something to show her how much I love her, I will buy a dozen of the flowers she not only thinks highly of, but knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that the giver (me) is trying to convey a message through these ‘colored gems.’

And that’s what they are in a sense, because, why would florists be selling dozens upon dozens of these flowers if they didn’t convey the message pre-determined by someone many years ago to establish this ‘movement’ which has now become established.

It may interest some that according to Wikipedia.org, “The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with the goddess of love, Aphrodite (Greek name) and Venus (Roman name).” So, it does go back in history for quite a period. The website also disclosed that the rose is also a symbol of beauty.

In giving roses to a loved one, most likely a mother, wife or girlfriend, I guess you could parallel them to a picture in as much as if a photo is worth a 1000 words, as the saying goes, so might not the rose be also?

But just giving of these beautiful plants to a loved one is not the true ticket of affection for another is it isn’t coupled with the love that Jesus Christ introduced to this earth – unconditional love (UL).

As hard as it may be for some to accept the UL concept, this day and every one forthcoming should be a reminder that no matter what the circumstance, there should always be selfless giving without intentions of receiving the least bit of anything. We are all called to “love one another as I have loved you,” the words of our Redeemer.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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