On our first Valentine’s Day together, my now-husband gave me a box of trash. I’m not kidding. He walked around our college campus and picked up recycled items, newspaper clippings, old discarded pen caps, those cardboard slips you put around coffee cups, etc. He crammed it all in a box he found by a trash can.
He wasn’t commenting on what he thought of me, but on what I thought of Valentine’s Day. I thought the holiday was rubbish. In my opinion, Valentine’s Day was just an excuse for people to spend money and manufacture sentimental feelings or moments.
The box of trash proved me wrong. (Or was it the guy I later married?)
When I opened that box there was no ounce of manufactured anything in my laughter or the fun we had rummaging through it and making jokes. I didn’t have to worry about him spending a dime on me since money was tight.
All that silly box cost him was effort.
Inside, he had also tucked a note. Or rather, a digital treasure hunt guide. It went something like “Google such and such. Write down the third word in the fourth result that pops up.” The words spelled out the sweet and simple message. “I love you- in HIM.”
The other message that stuck?
He knows my worth in Christ, and that makes me worth so much to Him. In spite of all the muck and yuck of sin and love and challenges and money and holidays and expectations, he thinks I’m worth the effort. Even when I don’t want to be.
Let me tell you, that’s a gift that we’re not all so willing to give.
“Dear friends, let us love one another,
for love comes from God.”
What love comes from God? A love that says “you’re worth the effort” in the big and the small. In the cross and the sitting down to explain –again- that parable, because they weren’t really listening.
I’m not saying that’s all that love is, but effort proves value. And I’d like to encourage you today to make the effort to love others, even if all you have to give seems like garbage.
Give the time, give the laugh, and give the message clearly: you’re worthwhile to Christ, so you’re worthwhile to me.
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