by Jen Hunt, in the style of her favorite children's author, Elspeth Campbell Murphy, from the archives
You know what, God? Yesterday was Valentine's Day.
I got lots of cards and stuff from people in my family. There was a heart-shaped card from my son, Alden, woven with pink and purple strips of paper, and also a bunch of white roses from my husband, Graham. They're white, just the color I wanted, not red like the stores say you have to get if you're in love, but they're my favorite just the same. I wrapped tulle and ribbons around the vase for good measure. You really should see them.
Then, did I forget to tell you? I got cards from my Mom and Dad, my sister, my mother-in-law, and Ga-ga, and a total of five dollars for candy.
It's nice to feel loved. And it feels good to love others, too. That's why I sent them back cards Alden and I had made with sponge paint and a paper punch.
But you know what really amazes me?
I knew for sure you loved me, yesterday, God.
Me. Really me. You gave me a Valentine with my name on it.
Every time I go to the second-hand store, I check the kid's bookshelf looking for some Elspeth Campbell Murphy books for my collection. I haven't found one in years. Yesterday I looked again because I had time, and besides, it was my friend Debbie's turn to watch my kids. Still nothing. But then I walked by the clearance section--and from the corner of my eye I saw one popping out. One I didn't have yet! Then I found another. And another. And one more. I kept looking for more, because I just about thought I was in heaven. But that was all there was. Still, four is a lot more than I could have hoped for. And not only that, they were all marked 5/99cents! Can you believe it? They must not be worth much to the resale store, but they're worth a lot to me. I even paid $18 for one of her books online.
I don't know how those books got to the clearance section when I had never even spotted them on the regular bookshelf. You know what I think? I think you must have put those books there just for me . . . to tell me how much you love me. You know exactly how to love me best.
Jesus, you love me better than everyone else in my life: better than my mom and Dad, better than my sons, better than my friend Debbie, even better than my husband. That's because you know me better than anyone else. You don't stop even though you know the yucky things I think, like when I wished my Graham would jump in a lake because he didn't notice how decorated my bedroom. Or when I was glad my friends lost the board game so I wouldn't look so dumb. You loved me enough to take the punishment those yucky things deserve, just so I could enjoy being with you and loving you forever.
That's kind of how Jeremiah must have felt when you told him:
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
You sure love me, God. Me, really me.
Thanks again. Happy Valentine's Day.