Don't you always think about hearts during the month of February. First you think about how much God loves you and how when you invite him He will come into your heart. You also think about Valentines Day and the love of family and friends. I want to share a heart wanning story of something that happened once when I was a school secretary.

Downtown Buena Park had a Valentine Day contest that all the children in schools were allowed to enter. Mr. Esquivel's 4th/5th grade class didn't get theirs made by the deadline. So on Saturday, Feb. 14th Valentine's Day, I put them into a box and took them to the Wilshire Elderly Care Facility. I carried them down to a room where there were about 25 people gathered. Everyone of them was confined to a wheel chair. There were old men with white hair and sad eyes, old women just sitting in wheel chairs, motionless, quiet and depressed with nothing to do. No one new to talk to them. Same old graham crackers and milk as every other day.

Then I took the Valentines out of the box and handed one to each person. They were surprised and smiled. Their eyes shone and memories of Valentine days long ago were awakened. The people held them tenderly, they traced the outlines and pictures made on the Valentines with their fingers. The room was suddenly alive with chatter and laughter. They were as children delighted with a new toy. The Valentines were exchanged with each other. Each person was eager to see every one of them.

Each child in this class had a part in bringing joy and love into the hearts of those old and sadly forgotten people. Some said it was the first Valentine they had received in more than fifty years. They eagerly moved their chairs around the room to get a closer look at each Valentine. This was a wonderful new experience in their dull, long, boring and suffering day.

After I told the students what happened when their Valentines were delivered and that each one was a cherished treasure on Valentines Day they were glad they missed the deadline. They were happy that the messages of love from their young hearts and creative minds brightened the lonely hearts of those who greatly needed something to brighten their day. They didn't even miss getting gift certificates. Their reward was in bringing love and happiness to someone.

When the men and women returned to their rooms each went back clinging to their very own Valentine. Close your eyes and try to visualize a barren room. Then visualize the Valentines pinned to a curtain, propped up on a night stand or hung on the wall. A beautiful Valentine heart that changes the atmosphere of a barren lonely room into a cheerful homey room because the students missed the deadline. Don't you think, as I do, that this was indeed God's plan to bring sunshine and love into the hearts of others. God's plans are always better than the ones we make ourselves. Let Him be your guide in sharing love this month and every month. A little 8 year old girl said "You shouldn't say I love you unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." May God bless you with a heart full of love this month of Valentines.

Fern McCallum

Fern wrote this article for Valentine's day 2011. Don't miss her 2013 article, Love Your Neighbor.

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