Praying for Strangers

An adventure of the human spirit

Lonely on This Day of Love

What to do when the whole world has lost that loving feeling.

Everyone loves Valentine's Day. Maybe, not the historical references or the designated commercial day for love but everyone loves—love.

That early childhood moment of sharing valentines with a hushed, excitement. Wondering does he, does she, love-me or love-me-not. Trying to interrupt the boxed cards to see if you had received the special one. There was always one for teacher and one for a very, special someone that stood out among the rest. Or, not so much. Maybe you were the kid that didn't even get the slightest scribble. 

Today on this Valentine's occasion of commercial rosebud buying, chocolate eating, and card sharing (all of which I support) I’m thinking of the people out there with no one. Shut in’s and the lonely. The homeless. CEOs with breaking hearts. Single people who have giving up connecting. Married people who have given up hope. People suddenly aware of this spotlight of love, or the lack thereof in their lives.

For reasons unknown to me I came into this world heartbroken. A kind of depth of alone that usually comes from being designated with the gift of writing. An inexplicable awareness of the pain of being different and shut off in the midst of all of humanity. (And, no, I don’t need some past life regression experience to sort this one out so thanks for the offer but I’ll pass. One lifetime fully lived is enough for me.) But this lonely feeling gave me a perceptive, perspective. 

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So, today as some open candy, delight over deliveries, have candlelight dinners, I think of all those without the smallest human touch. A gentle warmth that says, I am human, and I see you. Because it’s not always the love we desire, need, or receive that changes the course of time, that touches lives, and changes this world. It's the love we give in spite of the empty places in our lives. It's what we need the most, lack the most, and yet offer to others in abundance. 

And somewhere in the middle of that place of giving there is as, C.S. Lewis would call, "the deeper magic."

 

River Jordan is a playwright and novelist in Nashville.

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