Valentine’s Day might smack of commercialism, over-priced restaurants and the hassle of having to find ‘that special gift’ for ‘that special someone’, but fundamentally the basis of the celebration lies at the very heart (pardon the pun) of human existence.
I remember several years ago, at a retreat for youthworkers, someone telling a story of how he met a drunk young man outside a chip-shop one evening. The guy was crying into his chips and clearly feeling very sorry for himself. My friend sat on the curb beside him and started to coax his story out of him. The young man’s girlfriend had dumped him, and his heart was broken. In that moment, my friend told us, he realised something powerful: We talk about post-modernism and the fact that society does not recognise one single, ultimate truth, but the reality is, day to day, there is one thing we all share, and one thing we all crave. “I just want someone to love me,” sniffled the drunken youth. There it was, in a nut-shell. We all want to be loved. Simple, unadulterated longing for love – not sex, not romance, not anything other than the pure feeling that someone loves you for who you are, warts and all.
Its no coincidence that The Bible talks a lot about love (759 times in the New Living translation!), and describes God as ‘love’. Perhaps the most famous verse of them all is “God so loved the world that He sent his one and only son…” God loves us, me, you, all of us, just as we are, no matter how messed up or screwed up we are!
A young person asked one of our volunteer youth workers why she put up with so much stick from him and his mates, and didn’t even get paid for it. “That’s simple, she replied, because God loves you, and I love God.”
Throughout February, we’re asking people to tell us why they Love The Door – not because we’re vain, or because we somehow feel inadequate and unloved. Its because love is so important. The Door has loved the young people of Stroud for 25 years – serving them and their families just like that volunteer youth worker. Love is not an emotion, but an action, and one which requires a response – when God says he loves us, we need to decided how we respond. That youth worker’s response was to volunteer her time in The Drop-in.
We LOVE young people, their families and our community – and we demonstrate that through serving them the best way we can.
How do they respond? How do you respond?
Do you #LoveTheDoor?
If so, let us know why – fill in the online form here
“So now I am giving you a new commandment:
Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”
The Bible, book of John, Chapter 13, verse 34