Shoe Boxes, Candy Hearts, & the Wonder of Love

See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know Him. 1 John 3:1

The morning of February 13th, I would grab my shoe box and head out the door. Tomorrow it would be Valentine’s Day, and I knew that meant we were going to spend the afternoon at school decorating our box. The pink and red paper would be shaped into hearts. The stickers would be placed strategically on the box. The hole on the top would be outlined with lace, as it waited for the special cards to be placed into it.

When I would arrive back home, the box of Valentine cards would be spread out on the table. I would read each one carefully. I’d intentionally choose a couple of my favorites for my best friends; I wanted them to know how special they were to me. And I’d make my way down my class list, writing each name out on the cards and envelopes. 

One year in particular, I remember taking special care while choosing a card for a specific boy in my class.  Although I was only in 5th grade, this boy had my heart…for that week at least. And I needed to be subtle, yet clear in the message of the card, to let him know that he was someone special to me. After great deliberation, I chose his card. 

The next day arrived and the class could hardly wait until the Valentine Party in the afternoon. Soon the Valentine treats were passed out. The punch was distributed. And my stomach began to flip flop as I waited for the opportunity to pass out my cards. And more importantly, to see what card was chosen for me by this particular boy.

The cards had been passed out, and the teacher told us we could dive into our boxes and open all our cards. What fun! We ripped and read, while we enjoyed eating our little candy hearts. As I sorted through my cards, I could hardly contain myself, greatly anticipating what the card was going to say from this young boy. I found the card with his signature on it, took a deep breath, momentarily squished my eyes together as I gathered my courage, and then I read the card. 

The picture on the card was a of a little deer. And the words, shone brightly on the heart background read, “You are DEER to me!” 

I exhaled. Relief and joy ran through my veins. My cheeks turned a little pink, as I shyly glanced over at the giver. I knew it. After reading that card, I just knew the feelings were mutual. He liked me too. 

Today, we find ourselves on Valentine’s Day. Long gone are the days of decorating the little shoe boxes and writing out 25 little cards. Long gone are the days of wondering if the young boy a couple desks away feels the same way. And yet, whether we receive a card from someone or not today, there is a love letter for each one of us. It’s a love letter where no guessing is involved on the motives or feelings of the giver. It’s a love letter that is timeless, meeting each person and generation with the message of hope, acceptance, forgiveness, and eternal and sacrificial love. It’s a love letter that is meant to touch your heart each time you read it. This love letter is in the words of the Bible. 

I hope you will take time today to read some of the greatest love story ever told, allowing Jesus to impress upon your heart, just how loved and treasured you are to Him. 

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:18-19

Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O LORD. How precious is Your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 36:5-7

See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know Him. 1 John 3:1

For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Misty Cramer ©2022

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