In honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked some of our residents what love means to them. We heard stories of 22-year-old marriages that stayed together through all the trials of life. We heard stories of the hope and love guest had found here at Water Street, a kind of selfless love they hadn’t experienced before. We listened as we heard stories of love in all shapes, sizes, and forms that have impacted the lives of our guests.
As these conversations happened a man who had been silently sitting aside spoke up, “Love is great but finding pure love is hard, love that is selfless and has no ulterior motives. That is the love we all want and can only truly find in God.” All the stories of marriage, family, friends, and even Water Street started to fade as I listened to a man who had lost all hope in love from others until he encountered God.
How often are we looking for love in all the wrong places? How often do we skip over God on our quest to be known and loved fully? When we encounter God we find a love that doesn’t wavier or change upon circumstance, in Christ, we find a love we don’t deserve but a love we need. As the man continued talking he said, “I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day, real love is unconditional and doesn’t just show up once a year. Real love shows up on all the days even the days no one else would want to show up on.”
As we celebrate those we love, may we be inspired to seek more of our love from Christ as we try to reflect His love on others. Let us celebrate the loves in our lives that show up when no one else will. Let us notice the pure love of God and the consistent love of friends and family all year round. Be willing to show the love we have for others more consistently rather than just on a concentrated holiday. How will you take the love you have received and spread it throughout this year? Who will you show up for on the days no one else will? We pray that you encounter the love that this guest received and that that love changes you and propels you to share that love with others.