For Day 13, VALENTINE’S EVE, I had the thought to share something different. I want to share MY day of love. (Or one of them, anyway.) Although I mentioned it in a previous post, the reason I love Valentines Day so much is because of an experience I had in the ninth grade.
If you don’t mind the refresher, I would love if you would go read about it HERE. Then come back. Deal?
Oh, you’re back? Hi. Thanks.
That experience touched my heart and changed me.
Today, my heart was touched again. I work as a program coordinator for the Service Counsel at UVU, and our project this month is writing notes of love on little paper hearts we’ll use to heart attack different people in need throughout the state – refugee families, halfway houses, shelters, treatment centers, etc. I’ll be honest and tell you that I’ve been really excited about the idea, and less excited about the part where I get students involved on campus by asking them to write a note as they pass on their way to class.
So during my lunch hour between classes, I set up my table outside of the bookstore and yes, called out to strangers passing (:/ :/ :/ times a million) and invited them to take a minute of their day to express love to a total stranger. And sometimes it was as awkward as I pictured it’d be. Some people made faces, some people brushed me off, most people pretended they hadn’t heard me at all. NO, IT’S COOL. KEEP WALKING.
But some people did hear me. Some people stopped. Some people were absolutely lovely. So I spent an hour today sitting across from about thirty strangers, trickling in and out, but each taking a moment to pause, considering the paper heart in front of them, tapping markers against their temples until suddenly, they knew exactly what to say.
I wanted to cry reading through the words of encouragement and love poured out by strangers, FOR strangers. Stranger love is one of my favorite kinds of love. I fell in love with these people. And I think, in just taking a moment or two of their day to listen quietly for what the stranger on the other side of that paper heart needed, they felt love, too. Because love just multiplies. Love in any form, service in any way – it’s all worth celebrating and experiencing.
So here’s what’s different about today’s post. A CHALLENGE. I want to invite you to do something tomorrow. However anti-Valentines you are, however lonely you feel, and especially if you feel like you’ve got nothing to celebrate. I want you to look around, outside of yourself, and find someone to love on. Show love to someone in a way big or small. Reach out and express love. And if you would, I want you to tell me about it. Send me a message or a text or anything tomorrow after you do it. Not because I think I am a weird patron saint of Valentine’s Day (pretty sure a weird guy in adult diapers does that part. No, but seriously, does anyone else still picture the guy from Sabrina the Teenage Witch whenever they think of Cupid?) but because tomorrow, I’d like to share them with others as Day 14 and end this love series RIGHT. Because your experience with love will be someone else’s when they read it, and that reading might prompt them to recognize all they have, to go out and experience their own, and so on. And tomorrow can just be a giant love fest of little moments of love, in all forms, for all people, regardless of life situation or relationship status. Because we all have love if we look for it, and we can all give love if we take time. That’s my hope. Will you help me?