Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's Day Challenge: Loving the Unloveable

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays probably because I'm a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic. However I know for others this is one of the worst days ever which just magnifies the inescapable loneliness they may be facing. Regardless of your situation, I would like to ask that you read this with open eyes, ears and a willing heart to understand what a true definition of love in today's world looks like.

Yesterday my husband preached an uncommon message about Valentine's Day. In it, he reminded us how easy it truly is to love those people that we like. I barely have to make an effort to love my husband or my family. However, the true measure of a believer lies in their ability to love the unloveable. I had one such encounter last Friday with the manager of our building. I gently approached her about an incident that was repeatedly occurring which I felt was unfair. Basically there is someone who parks right in front of our door step every day between 7:30 - 7:45 am to drop off her daughter. The problem with this lies in the fact that she is extremely boisterous in the morning and I can hear everything from my apartment. When I am not home and am on my way back from an early morning WOD at CrossFit she makes it impossible for me to get into my parking space because she is literally blocking me in. Needless to say it is not only uncomfortable but oftentimes very annoying to have to put up with it.

In any case, the manager apparently sees no problem with it or has no desire to reach a resolution. She has single-handedly decided to completely disregard my request to find another spot to park/stop her car. Although there is a large sign that reads "No Parking" she has rationalized her way out of following her own rule by saying, "It doesn't say no stopping; you can stop for five minutes."

There are few things in life that bother me more than inconsistency and injustice so this ranks pretty high on my list of pet peeves. Yet the fact remains that there is nothing I can do about it besides maybe call "Help Me Howard" (Oh, and I have contemplated it) and surrender this to God in prayer. My inclination is to hold a grudge against, not only the manager, but the lady that carelessly and inconsiderately parks her car illegally every day to drop off her daughter at the expense of my peace. Yet, I was reminded this weekend by my husband's message that God has called me to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me.

So on this Valentine's Day I have chosen out of obedience to God to forgive her. Like Jesus exclaimed on that cross when bearing my sins, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." I ask that you would intervene divinely in this woman's heart, Father God, and drive her to a genuine encounter with you. That she would like Paul, be blinded by the light of your presence and fall on her face and hear you calling her (Acts 9:2-6).

And of course no Valentine's Day would be complete without this:

There are so many things that I love about you. I love your smile and way you make me feel when I am around you. I love your "Hakuna Matata" philosophy of life yet how seriously you have always taken your responsibilities at church. I love how you have never liked to read until you started seminary and now no one can stop you from devouring your commentaries. I love how you can pick up your guitar and transport yourself into another world where nothing in life matters. I love how unshakeable your confidence is and how you could care less to match but like to look good because you know how much it means to me. I love how much you know about everything and how you can engage anyone in a conversation. I love how you make a big deal of the things that matter to me. I love how nothing is ever more important than listening to me when I just need you to listen to me. I love the way you love me. I hope you know that I love you more than I ever thought possible. Thank you for picking me as your wife. I am eternally indebted to God for the husband He has blessed me with. Eu te amo cada dia mais.
Your linda,

This is the video my hubby used to introduce his sermon on Sunday. Enjoy it!

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