I was supposed to have a meeting at 5 p.m. and then rush to ESL class before 6:30, but I couldn’t figure out why no one was showing up for the meeting. Then I realized — it’s Valentine’s Day. They must have rescheduled and didn’t tell me.
So, I had time to go home, feed the cat and eat a bite before going to my class. On the way, I reflected on the fact that I was going to teach ESL tonight, when others would be spending time with their loved ones. It didn’t bother me too much, since my husband was not a romantic when it came to Valentines — he was at other times, just not when he “had” to be.
We were down to two teachers (another thing I realized only tonight that was due to the date on the calendar), so I took care of all the ladies. We only had three, but they were each at a different level. I chose a happy middle, and we dove into working on telling time. I felt good about the lesson, and when I looked at my watch, saw that I had fifteen minutes left.
I told them, “we’re going to read something about love, since it’s Valentine’s Day.” I went to the cabinet and pulled out three easy-to-read English Bibles and found these verses from 1 Corinthians 13:
Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. … Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.*
I went over the meaning of the words, and talked about why love is eternal, because God is love and he is eternal. Then I told them I wanted to read them something about that, and turned to 1 John 4:
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him. This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.*
That is love. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. We’ve done nothing to deserve it, nothing to earn it, but we do have the choice to turn it away. Even so, it remains. Faith and hope are gone with this temporal world. Love lasts forever.
I’m happy to have had my ESL class tonight, because I was able to share true love with those who have yet to experience his embrace. I pray my seed of love will take root and grow.
God is love. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Grace and Peace
*1 Corinthians 13:4-6, 13 (Good News Translation)
1 John 4:7-10 (GNT)