I wonder if Charlie Brown ever received a Valentine. If you are fan of the comic strip Peanuts, you will recall that every Valentine’s Day Charlie Brown would make the trek to the mailbox only to find it full of cobwebs, not one Valentine for Charlie. Snoopy, his dog, on the other hand, couldn’t carry all of his as he danced back to his doghouse, obviously feeling the love.
I am not sure what Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts, was trying to express through the utter disappointment of Charlie Brown. Was he remembering his own childhood and the pain of not being very well liked? Was he trying to show to the world how a small gesture could make a big difference on another person and the lack of that gesture could be equally damaging? Perhaps he was just developing Charlie Brown as a lonely kid growing up with a dog that was more popular than he was; lots of questions, but no answers. Just like when I would read the annual Valentine’s Day strip from Schultz, even though I knew that Charlie Brown would not receive any Valentines, I was always rooting for him in my heart. I would think maybe this year he would receive at least one Valentine; and wouldn’t it be great if it were from the little red-headed girl! I wanted that for Charlie Brown. I wanted him to know that he was lovable and he was important. Alas, I don’t recall him ever receiving a single card.
Funny how a comic strip can stir up such deep emotions. Maybe that was what Charles Schultz was going for. Maybe he wanted us to feel the pain of the lonely and hurting people around us. Perhaps he wanted to motivate us to action and reach out to someone we know. Maybe, just maybe, that is my point in this article.
Valentine’s Day for some is a day to express their love to one or more people. For some it is a painful reminder that they are alone and perhaps they even feel unloved.
The truth is all of us are deeply loved, even if we don’t know it. Consider what Jesus’ disciple John wrote; “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (John 3:1) God has a deep love for each us, a love deep enough to send his Son to us. Now that we have been loved, then John says; “For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” (John 3:11) “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (John 3:18).
Do you know of a person who could be lonely? Do you know someone who lost his or her spouse this past year? I wonder how they would feel if they opened up their mailbox to find a Valentine from you.