Two years ago, when my husband was in Afghanistan, he had arranged for Roscoe, one of the mascots of the Bowling Green Hot Rods minor league baseball team, to surprise me in my classroom on Valentine's Day. I never thought that these pictures would cause controversy.
Later, I came across these pictures on Facebook. I was appalled by the comments. They weren't negative toward me, but they caused some folks to gripe about Roscoe not being allowed to deliver to their children, so it shouldn't have been allowed for a teacher. The Hot Rods explained that deliveries were determined by schools according to their school policies.
My husband had taken the time to contact my principal, who was excited to be part of the surprise. The office staff kept it a secret until the moment Roscoe appeared in my room. A world away, my husband brightened my day.
When the comments appeared, I wanted to scream, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! MY HUSBAND IS IN AFGHANISTAN!"
But, I kept my mouth closed. They didn't understand. Did they really need to know my side of the story? I knew my story.
My story was my husband was serving in Afghanistan, ministering to our Soldiers who were giving these people the right to express their opinion.
My story was that my husband, although a world away in a war zone, found a way to show his love on Valentine's Day.
My story was that I was living a life they would not understand.
Not just with me, but do we ever really understand what a person is going through? Do we know what life another person is living?
No, we don't.
We can be judgmental and selfish and make comments on things we can never understand. When we do that, it hurts others, even if we don't mean anything by it.
When Jesus was being crucified, He cried out, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." We too must choose to forgive when people hurt us, whether out of spite or on accident. For me, forgiveness is not an option. Jesus chose to forgive me, wretched me. If He can do that for me, I can do that for others.
So, this Valentine's Day, I would like for you to consider true love. Real. True. Love. The love that only comes from Jesus. Once we know that love, it is so much easier to share that love with others. That's how we come to forgive and love those that will never understand our stories.