Valentine’s Day fell on Thursday last week. Bruce and I originally talked about going out to lunch, since he is still working second shift. Alas, he had overtime, which meant he worked 11 am to 11 pm. No romantic lunch or dinner. Good thing we don’t need the fancy candles and music!
But there were still some fun highlights of the weekend. Some dear friends, who were volunteers at the local pregnancy help ministry while I was Director, took me to their church for a Friday night “Coffee House” event. Members of the church sang songs of praise and worship, and the audience took part as well. With lots of cookies and delicious coffee from a local favorite, Mad Goat Coffee, it was easy to relax and share in fellowship. The church is a big supporter of prolife work in the community, so I knew many people. What joy I had in saying hello and exchanging hugs!
We have a very vibrant performing arts community, especially for a town of under 35,000 people. One organization is the DLO Musical Theater which has three or four staged performances every year. DLO performed “john & jen” this weekend, and I had no intention of going. I had never heard of the show, so I didn’t even pay attention. Well, Bruce wanted to do something special, since we missed Valentine’s Day. We went to the Sunday matinee, which included dessert and coffee. We shared a table with a sweet young couple and enjoyed getting to know them a bit during intermission. “john & jen” has a two-person cast; the woman playing one character and the man playing her brother in the first act and her son in the second act. It was such a powerful show! I laughed out loud and cried tears! We went up to the actors afterwards, congratulating them on a great performance, and thanking them for sharing their talent. (The reason they did this small cast show was that many people are preparing for a big production of “Beauty and the Beast” with our local orchestra next month! I’m telling you, we have a talented community!)
Other than the calendar, what does this have to do with 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us”? One aspect of love is to share joy and fellowship and community, to be present to one another. In this age of social media and virtual relationships, I find such a burst of energy and happiness when I am talking with someone face-to-face. Jesus did that. He ate in people’s homes, went to at least one big wedding (probably many more!) and undoubtedly laughed with His friends. Love is relational by definition. The love He showers upon us is the source of the love we share with others – our spouse, our friends, or even strangers we run into at a community event. More than flowers and chocolate (though I did get both!) friendship and community fill my heart with joy!