I had just finished an assignment in my dorm. Girl after girl were being paged to the office, on Valentine’s Day, to come down for beautiful bouquets of flowers from their boyfriends. How I envied them! My boyfriend and I had parted months before but hearing the names paged over the intercom felt like daggers in my heart. Even when I had a boyfriend, he never gave me flowers, except for the corsage he put on my wrist for the Prom. The aching wound, I thought was healed, reopened with new fervency.
As I sat on my bed, tears glistening in my eyes, I turned to my Bible. With the influx of term papers and mid-term exams, I hadn’t picked it up in days. How many days had it been? Goodness! I wasn’t sure, but it had been too long. Finding the bookmark, I opened to 1 John 4. Great, just what I need, a chapter on love. Numb with sadness, I began to read the words through my blurred vision .
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever, does not love does not know God. 1 John 4: 7-8
In my heart, I believed I loved God and I tried to be kind to people, even those I didn’t like. But, at this moment I hated the girls whos names were called and I hated the person who called them. It wasn’t really hate, but more like bitter envy. As I continued to read, I stopped short of the verse, ” Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” 1 John 4: 21 My tear stained face turned hot. My feelings, over my breakup, had created a wall of self-pity and bitterness. Fresh tears streamed down my face as I realized that the flowers weren’t the issue, unforgiveness was.
Kneeling, at the edge of my bed, I poured my heart out to the living God, my Lord Jesus. Sobbing, and asking for forgiveness , the sadness and anger that had been festering in my heart, lifted. With a quiver and a deep sigh, I collapsed on the bed, and fell asleep.
I awoke to a knock on the door. Jenny, standing with a radiant smile, had come to ask if I had a vase that she could borrow. Earlier, I would not have answered the door. Earlier, I may have burst into tears and said, “No”. But, now, with a healed heart, I told her I did have a vase that she could use, but only… if I could see the beautiful bouquet she had left in her room.