Singles: Your love is a reflection of God’s love, too!

Photo by Pin Adventure Map on Unsplash

I am blessed to belong to a cadre of godmothers, aunties, scout leaders, neighbors, teachers, and friends who have been entrusted to shape and form the lives of young people. They say it takes a village after all! 

Last summer, I found myself at the local park district sports celebration. Imagine a sea of children gripping handfuls of jelly-filled donut holes and juice-boxes, eagerly anticipating their team names to be called, and waving participation ribbons while trying to get their parent’s attention across an ocean of sugar induced chaos!  It was quite the site to behold! 

I turned to share a laugh with one of the other aunties, and much to my surprise, I caught her glance as she was wiping away an avalanche of tears. I leaned over to give her a hug. 

“Sometimes grief hits me out of nowhere,” she whispered.

Neither of us have children of our own, which has been a deeply personal decision for each of us.  I have no doubt that her life, and mine, has turned out exactly how God intended it to be.  Yet at the same time, there are moments when we second guess ourselves and fall into thoughts of “what if…” and “if only…” and grieve what could have been. 

It would be easy to wallow in regret or fall into thinking my love is somehow “less than” because these kids are not my biological children. Although, as another friend recently reminded me, children are never really “ours” to begin with. They ultimately belong to God alone, regardless of the people who help to raise them.

Despite the occasional sadness, I’m often overwhelmed with immense joy that comes with belonging to this village. I love that I’m invited not only for birthdays, sacraments, and special occasions – but they save a place for me on taco Tuesday, homemade mac-and-cheese night, and apple picking adventures. I even have my own Christmas stocking at their house! God’s love is made real in the ordinary moments that we share, and this community is truly an expression of encouragement, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, and love. 

Celebrating Single Love

I’ve sat in the pews at many churches and listened to heartfelt homilies that compare God’s love to marriage. And it’s true! There are many couples who exemplify God’s love by their sacrifice and commitment to one another. We need good and holy marriages that reflect God’s love! We also need faith-filled priests and sisters who model fidelity and reflect God’s love in community. We need saints of all persuasions – single, married, religious, missionaries, and martyrs – who lay down their lives for the sake of the gospel. 

But you know what else? I can think of just as many single people, who are following God’s call, whose hearts are drawn to prayer, whose lives are a role model of charity and justice, and who emulate God’s love. Yet, I rarely hear their stories or perspective shared from the pulpit.

So, I want to say something to all of my single friends today on Valentine’s Day. Your love is needed more than ever! Your love is real! Your love is necessary! Your love is not secondary! Your love is not a consolation prize! You are worthy to be recognized for the love you share with others!

Love by its very nature is unitive and creative. True love unites us with others and true love multiplies itself. This is true whether you are married or single, gay or straight, divorced or widowed. Your love is a reflection of God’s love, too!

I see it so often among my single friends! You are the amateur chef who hosts amazing Sunday night dinners for your friends. You serve at the soup kitchen week after week with no need for recognition. You sacrifice time and talent to advocate, fundraise, and draw attention to societal woes. You promise to pray for people, and you engage in quiet acts of service that only God will see. You are the friend who drops everything when someone needs a ride home from the airport or a companion at the doctor’s office. You are the artists and musicians who pour endless creativity into making the world a more beautiful place!

I see you! And when I see you, I see a glimpse of the love God has for God’s people. It is equally worthy, and even more so, than the romantic love we celebrate on Valentine’s Day. Because your love is a participation in the sacred village known as the Kingdom of God.  

Today is your day, too. I hope you know that, and celebrate it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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