Thursday of last week (if you recall) was Valentine’s day, a complicated day for many of us. As I sat in the Hill Center at UAB a student I never met came up to my table, handed me a small sparkly red heart about the size of a nickel, and told me “happy St. Valentine’s day.” I couldn’t help but notice she added the ‘saint’ in the greeting, maybe thinking that because I was a priest she needed to be religious about this. I thanked her but before I could say anything else she quickly moved on. As I looked at that small heart in my hand I wondered why she decided to give it to me; did I seem lonely? Did she go around campus handing them out to everyone? As Christians we often find thinking about love just as complicated as observing February 14; one way sees all desire in terms of temptation, spiritual versus physical, and understands desire as something to be overcome. Another option is more sentimental, focusing on God as having a ‘plan’ for each of us to meet our one true love, get married, and then live happily ever after. A third way begins to understand love and desire as part of our desire for God, so all the ways we express desire is really but a part of our desire to enjoy God’s presence forever. The heart can be a mystery sometimes; love and desire involve much more than a simple gesture, a statement of fidelity, and the correct approach to life. Love isn’t one size fits all; it’s lived out in complicated ways. Love sometimes goes wrong; love leads us to love the wrong person for the wrong reasons; love can lead us into arrangements and life which seem unique and challenging to others. As we navigate a complicated world that requires us to address complicated emotions which lead to complicated actions it’s important to remember that God’s love for us isn’t complicated; God loves us. Whatever you may feel about love and however you understand desire God’s greatest desire is for you to love God and love your neighbor as yourself, however, you live that out this February day or any other day of the year.
Tuesday at 6pm is Pasta Night, and on the menu is pasta with Cabbage and Caramelized Onions; it should be interesting to try but it’ll always be fun to work together to make. We hope you’ll join us.
On Campus This Week
Should this be a week you particularly need to be reminded that God loves you, then drop by for a chat or join us for worship. Here is the on-campus schedule for the week.
Tuesday is our BSC day, and Thomas will be hanging out in the front of the Caf around 9am if you’d like to come by and say hey or sit and join me. Come join us in Yeilding Chapel at 11:45am to hear the story of Jesus in word and at the altar.
Wednesday is our Samford day, and Thomas will be hanging out in the University Center by the O’ Henry’s around 9am if you’d like to come by and say hey or sit and join me. Then come join us in Reid Chapel at Noon to hear the story of Jesus in word and at the altar.
Thursday is our UAB day, and I’ll be hanging out in the Hill Center, at a table near the Univ. Blvd doors, around 10am until 3pm if you’d like to come by and say hey or sit and join me. And should this be a week you particularly need to be reminded that God loves you then come by and let me know.