Devotion for February 14, 2024

This is one of the best Valentine gifts of God to humanity — the people He loves. It is the gift we offer to others too: John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Here is a poem that is a love expression to those who are loved around us. There are listed names (by the poet). At that point think of the people who are closest in love with you.

The Big Heart, Anne Sexton

“Too many things are occurring for even a big heart to hold.”
— from an essay by William Butler Yeats

“Big heart,
wide as a watermelon,
but wise as birth,
there is so much abundance
in the people I have:
Max, Lois, Joe, Louise,
Joan, Marie, Dawn,
Arlene, Father Dunne,
and all in their short lives
give to me repeatedly,
in the way the sea
places its many fingers on the shore,
again and again
and they know me,
they help me unravel,
they listen with ears made of conch shells,
they speak back with the wine of the best region.
They are my staff.
They comfort me.”

“They hear how
the artery of my soul has been severed
and soul is spurting out upon them,
bleeding on them,
messing up their clothes,
dirtying their shoes.
And God is filling me,
though there are times of doubt
as hollow as the Grand Canyon,
still God is filling me.
He is giving me the thoughts of dogs,
the spider in its intricate web,
the sun
in all its amazement,
and a slain ram
that is the glory,
the mystery of great cost,
and my heart,
which is very big,
I promise it is very large,
a monster of sorts,
takes it all in —
all in comes the fury of love.”

Anne Sexton was an American poet known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die.

Prayer

Lord, I thank You for the love You show us all by the gift of Your Son, to take away the sin of the world. In turn, let me show that love to those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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