Tuesday, September 16, 2014

From the desk

A dark day for various individuals, Valentine’s Day does not always venture to be providential for those single members of society trying to make their way through the romantic gestures that happen all around them — just not to them.

While most single people will not take to the streets and go all Al Capone on the couples, the urge to hurl tiny colored hearts marked with “Be Mine” all over their chalky surface might be too strong to pass up. Spending the cash on vindictive edible hearts, though, probably will not happen.

A look into Valentine’s Day past reveals both the romance and violence that the day is covered with, satisfying the urges of couples and single ladies alike. While many couples travel to Love Valley, N.C. and contribute to the $12.6 billion that the U.S. Census Bureau reports is spent on chocolate each year, the rest of us grin like bitter Cheshire Cats at what is really being celebrated.

According to history.com, Valentine’s Day is clouded in uncertainty as to the true saint after whom it is named.

One legend recounts the tale of a Saint Valentine who continued to marry couples after Emperor Claudius II forbade it for reasons of war, and was beheaded in the process. Despite the loss of a man’s head, this scenario is still romantic when you look at the details — a man gave up his life in order to celebrate love.

Another saga tells of a Valentine that was martyred for helping Christians escape Roman prisons. While not necessarily filled with over-the-top romantic gestures, the love celebrated here is of a different kind — the love for brothers and sisters in Christ.

A final account reveals the story of one Saint Valentine who fell in love with his prison guard’s daughter and wrote a note to her just before his death, signed “From your Valentine.” Probably the most romantic of the three, this is the story that most people unknowingly follow every year. The cheap paper Valentine’s Day cards every child gives out to their classmates is just a reminiscence of one man who died for love.

While each tale has a bit of romance entwined with its history, death encapsulated all three legends. It seems only fitting that a holiday shrouded in so many gimmicky gifts and boasts of love has a deeper meaning and an even deeper semblance to the only one to ever die for everyone.

As many of us deal with the dreaded call from home resulting in a “Yes, Mom, I’m still single” answer, take comfort in knowing that one man already died for you some 2,000 years ago.

Instead of staring bitterly at the couples holding hands and sneaking kisses with one another, just sit back and take in the gifts that you already have. I know that I will be celebrating my holiday with thanks to the Lord for His enduring love.

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