Happy Valentine’s | Love and Suffering

So, Happy Valentine’s everyone.

Who Saint Valentine was is lost in the mists of time. He got lucky though: his Saint’s day happened to fall on the day when traditionally birds chose their mates and began to nest with them. So if you get a soppy card, blame Chaucer.

Last night I went for a drink with a few friends, and the conversation fell deep. As usual. As we left, one turned to me and said

‘that’s the thing Kester, when we suffer, we suffer alone.’

I left saddened. On this Valentine’s, we seem to celebrate a slushy, padded-pink version of love. Spun sugar, disappearing on contact. Surely this is the true mark of love, not that we share our joys, but that we can share our suffering with someone.

Perhaps I’m being idealistic to suggest that the last person to suffer alone should have been Christ. After that the people of Christ ought to have done better. We haven’t. So perhaps on this Valentine’s we ought to re-commit to this tougher love, not to offer useless words, but sit like Job’s friends in silence and just be.


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