A Story for Valentine’s Day
Marti Wibbels, MS, LMHC
Wherever Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout the world, many anticipate a day of disappointment or the painful disillusionment of unrequited love. Even for those who want to celebrate love, expectations can be dashed in a sea of unfulfilled hope. But we can make distinct choices to have a good day. How? Perhaps a story can help.
In The Tower of Geburah, three children are introduced as “bored.” After author John White transports Wesley, Kurt, and Lisa from Canada to the unknown world of Anthropos, their lives quickly become anything but boring. One moment, the gloomy children are in their Uncle John’s attic fiddling with dials on old TV sets (instinctively knowing they shouldn’t), and the next, they begin seeing strange pictures of another world. When Lisa’s brothers attempted to stop her from reaching into an image of a man in a dungeon, she suddenly disappeared into the TV. Desperate to rescue her, Wesley and Kurt kept adjusting TV dials until they, too, disappear—into a different image.
In Anthropos, the three children experienced continual disappointments—yet saved a kingdom in the end. Sometimes a story helps us stretch our imaginations. As G. K. Chesterton said, “Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
Like Lisa, we often can't understand what's happening—or why. After suddenly being transported into Geburah, Lisa didn’t know where she was and, instead of asking for help, tried to figure life out on her own. When captured by an evil jinn, she said, “I wish you looked like my Uncle John. I’d feel better if you did.” Immediately, her Uncle John appeared, and Lisa asked him to take her home. When “Uncle John” said nothing, Lisa clung to him until he explained, “I have no home. I’m not your real Uncle John. I’m just the wish you asked for.” Then Lisa “flung herself headlong at his feet, beating her fists...in a storm of weeping.” The figure who looked like Uncle John reminded her of the food the jinn brought her. “Was it real food?” he asked. “It tasted real,” Lisa responded. He continued, “Did it satisfy your hunger?” “No,” Lisa admitted. “Listen, Lisa, he said, “I cannot satisfy your heart like your real Uncle John either. I too am only a wish. I’m your wish for Uncle John.”
When we seek satisfaction in “wish food,” whether on Valentine’s Day or any other day, we feel more famished than we were before we ate. Placing our hope in the world, our hopes can easily be dashed, our dreams shattered. The psalmist encourages us to “taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8, ESV). The TPT version says, “Drink deeply of the pleasures of this God. Experience for yourself the joyous mercies he gives to all who turn to hide themselves in him.”
What do you have to lose? Look to God for peace, and the clamor of the world’s battles dims in the magnificence of His unfailing love. You can dive into the depths of His love every day simply by reading His Word, the Bible. The gospel of John is a good starting point—the greatest love story ever told!