So today is Valentine’s Day. While I’m a sucker for all the hokey stuff, I still remain troubled that as a society we are moving away from love on a daily basis. Sure, sure, I read all sorts of sayings and blessings on social media reminding me that the true source of love is God, and for the moment my heart may be warmed…yet on any other day, these phrases become platitudes when the truth of how we live is weighted down by a people who are growing more fearful and divisive. It isn’t love when people passive/aggressively defame those who don’t support their position on gun control. It isn’t love when you disrespect someone who loves someone you don’t approve of. It isn’t love when you quote scripture but despise someone who stands opposite you politically or has a faith different from yours. It isn’t love to disrespect, slander and libel someone to justify a position of hate regardless of how “righteous” you think you are. Love should be constant, unconditional and universal…and in ordinary time we are lacking. I really don’t mean to be such a downer, pink really is my favorite color. When I look around me, though, there is such a harsh contrast between the reality and the hearts and flowers sentiment of the day. Without love, everything is like the noise of a gong or cymbal. And I hear a lot of noise these days, and it just weighs down my soul. Love shouldn’t be reduced to a day, or a sugared theme or a restricted definition. It is a gift, freely given to all of us…a power unrestricted by our ignorance of how to share and wield it fully. As a recipient, I am grateful of that love…whether or not I feel worthy of it… and pray it molds me into my greatest self. As my valentine, I pray this for you as well.